1864: Ivory Lane to Andrew Lane

The following letters were written by Ivory Lane (1842-1869), the son of Andrew Lane (1818-1899) and Susan S. Simpson (1820-1894) of Rockport, Essex county, Massachusetts. Ivory enlisted as a private in Co. G, 8th Massachusetts Infantry in mid-July 1864 and served for 100 days. The regiment spent most of their time in Baltimore where it guarded the Northern Central Railroad from attack by Confederate guerillas. After a brief garrison and provost duty in the city of Baltimore, the Eighth returned to Massachusetts and was mustered out of Federal service on November 10, 1864.

See also—Civil War Letters of Andrew J. Lane, 32nd Massachusetts.

Letter 1

Camp near Baltimore [Maryland]
July 31st [1864]

Dear Father,

As I had a few minutes to spare, I thought I would write a few lines to let you know that I am well and all the rest of the Rockport Boys. I have been on guard so I ain’t had much time to write before.

We was on dress parade this morning. It is hot as the Devil out here now. We have had orders to be ready to move any moment. We had forty rounds of cartridges given us [this] morning.

I must close. Direct your [letters] to me: Co. G, 8th Regt. Massachusetts Vols., Baltimore, MD

Letter 2

Camp near Baltimore [Maryland]
August 6 [1864]

I thought I would write you a few lines to let you know that I got your letter last night. I an d all the Rockport Boys are well.

I thought I would send my boots home as I didn’t have much room to care [for] them. Don’t let the boys wear my boots because I want them when I get home. I like [it] out here first rate.

Pvt. Raines arrived here today.

Letter 3

[At some point someone tried to trace the pencil handwriting with a ballpoint pen and made it more difficult to transcribe correctly]

Anamessex [Annapolis?]
October 16 [1864]

Dear Father,

I now take this time to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines will find you all the same. There ain’t nothing going on here so I can’t write much. The Rockport boys are all well and fat as pigs. I had a letter from Andrew this week and he said he hadn’t had a letter from you some some time. He is well.

I shall soon be at home now as my time is up the 3rd November. We expect the steamer here everyday to fetch us home or take us to Baltimore.

We can get the mail here but once a week so you won’t have time to answer this. From your son, — Ivory Lane

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