1862: Starr L. Booth to friend “Nettie”

I could not find an image of Starr but here is a cdv of Joseph Dobbs Bishop of Danbury who served as chief musician in 23rd Connecticut. Bishop died of disease returning home from his enlistment (Western Conn. State University Archives)

This letter was written by Starr L. Booth (1842-Aft1920), the son of Charles Booth (1802-Aft1860) and Eliza Beardsley (1808-Aft1860 of Newtown, Fairfield county, Connecticut. Starr datelined his letter from Camp Parapet near New Orleans on 29 December 1862 while serving in the Co. C, 23rd Connecticut Infantry. Despite contending that he would not serve “Uncle Sam” beyond his 9 month enlistment in the 23rd, records indicate that he subsequently served in Co. M, 2nd Connecticut Heavy Artillery from 5 September 1864 to 12 June 1865. They also indicate that he was wounded on 6 February 1865 in the fighting at Hatcher’s Run, Virginia.

In the 1875 Rhode Island State Census, Starr was enumerated as a boarder with his wife Annie (1840-1945) and 7 year-old daughter Alice in Bristol where he labored as a “Rubber worker.” Later in life he worked as a florist and gardner.

To read other letters I have transcribed by members of the 23rd Connecticut Infantry and posted on Spared & Shared, see:
Abel M. Wheeler, Co. B, 23rd Connecticut (1 Letter)
James Fillow Jelliff, Co. E, 23rd Connecticut (2 Letters)
Edwin Benedict, Co. G, 23rd Connecticut (1 Letter)
George Leander Hotchkiss, Co. H, 23rd Connecticut (1 Letter)
Frederic C. Barnum, Co. K, 23rd Connecticut (1 Letter)

Transcription

Camp Parapet
23rd [Connecticut] Regiment, Co. C, USA
New Orleans, 29 December 1862

Miss Nettie,

As I have a few leisure moments I thought the best way for me to improve them would be to write you a few lines although I have not received any answer from those that I wrote you while on Camp Buckingham. I did not write but a few lines on account of having marching orders while writing them.

The 23rd is now encamped about three miles above the City of New Orleans. We left Camp Buckingham the 4th. It being pleasant, we set sail for Ship Island and sailed along nice until the 7th when we met with a severe gale which came very near capsizing our boat. After sailing nine days, we arrived at Ship Island. We stayed there three days and then started for this place.

I must say this is the pleasantest place that I ever was in. It is as warm here now as it is North in July. We have all kinds of fruit here such as orange, lemons, oranges, pineapples, and various other kinds. Oranges are as plenty here as apples are north. The boys go out and pick all they wish for. They make themselves at home whenever they go out. It looks hard to see the property that is destroyed here. There is hundreds of houses that no one lives in and some of them are the most splendid houses that I ever saw. Those that lived in them are now in the Southern army. They must have thought they were in the right to have left them in the way they did.

I am in hopes they will make some treaty for peace. As for me, I am getting tired of soldiering in it and for this reason: we do not have enough to eat and drink and that we do have is not fit to eat. I am waiting with patience to have my nine months come to a close and then I think I close my work for Uncle Sam.

I am very anxious to hear from the New Haven folks as I have not heard from any of them since I left there. Give my love to Aggy and Fanny and all the rest. As I have no more time and the mail is going out, I shall close by remaining your friends, — Starr L. Booth

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