It is with pleasure to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and enjoying myself very well.
When reading Frank's letters, it helps to keep in mind the itinerary of Company I's activities over his three-month enlistment period. Below is a brief summary, courtesy of the Ohio Civil War Central research website. They note that During the 86th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry’s term of service, thirty-eight men, including one officer, perished from disease or accidents. No men died from wounds received on the battlefield.
June 11, 1862
The 86th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry mustered into service at Camp Chase, at Columbus, Ohio. The men in the regiment were to serve three months.
June 16, 1862
Officials dispatched the 86th to Clarksburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia). Upon arriving at Clarksburg on June 17, the regiment primarily served on garrison duty at Clarksburg and Grafton and on guard duty along the railroad.
July 27, 1862
Authorities ordered Companies A, C, H, and I of the 86th to Parkersburg, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) to help fend off an anticipated Confederate attack. The assault did not materialize, but these companies remained at Parkersburg except for Company H, which guarded railroad track located east of the city.
August 21, 1862
The regiment consolidated at Clarksburg before moving to Beverly, Virginia (modern-day West Virginia) to prevent a Confederate invasion of western Virginia and Ohio. The Confederate force advanced in a different direction before reaching Beverly, and the 86th returned to Clarksburg, where it performed garrison duty for the remainder of its term of service.
September 17, 1862
The 86th Regiment left Clarksburg for Camp Delaware at Delaware, Ohio. The regiment arrived at Camp Delaware on September 18, 1862 and mustered out of service on September 23, 1862.
Now we begin with Frank's first letter written from Camp Chase on June 12.
Camp Chase June 12/62
Dear Pa & Ma,
Charlie, Lollmy (maybe a nickname for Marion) & Flora
it is with pleasure to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well and enjoying myself very well. I tell you I would not miss this trip for enything. we have lots of fun we have as mutch as I can eat we have farm(?) good butter good bread cuke and lots of good things. the Olde secesh is pened up in a large pen. we do not go within 10 feet of the fence. they have preaching every night. some of them ar very ency (antsy?) they try to get out. one of them got en olde case knife (table knife) - and made a saw and he sawed one of the bordes off. then one of the guards saw him and shot him. there wer 1000 men drawn up in the line of battle. they looked very nice. when i came the boys all ran and wanted to know if I came when they new I had came(?). they was glad. they all make the bigest fus over us. their is a man coming with some straw berrys. I must stop and get some. Well I have ate my berrys now there is as many wagons here as there ar in Minerva. and of all the fun I cannot tell. I can not mutch it is to mutch nois so you must excus my mistakes. I mess (eat) with the Captin Liet Brandt. we have a little coock I tell you now he can coock. he can fry the ham just right. we will get our uniforms today or to morrow. I have got my Drum. I must hurry there is more that was(?) write so I can not write mutch. the captin is in town. I mean Columbus when I say town. his brother is sick and he is taking care of him. the corn is very high here. the Boys just make a fuss(?) of me. they will give me everything. we live in as good a shanty as there is in camp. we lock our door every now. one night while we was assleep they came in and stole our bench. I have no more to write now. they are a going to drill now sow good by
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