A LETTER SENT TO STEWART WEBSTER FROM ANDREW WEBSTER
Shared by David E. Gregg - Thanks David!
March 28th, 1862 Ship Island, Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico
Dear father and family.
I received your letter the day before I left Baltimore and was glad to here you were well. It found me well and hardy. Since that time I have had a pain in my head caused by cold. I have still been able for duty. I have been cleared of pain since last night. I have no mail since I had left Newport News Va. Before I left I received two volumes of the Parke County paper that you had sent me. I am very anxious to receive another as it gives so many names that is familiar to me. We were ordered on the 19th of February to go on the GEORGIA, a large steamer at Fort Monroe, Va. and we were landed there on the 20th and commenced unloading our freight and then ordered to go to Newport News ten miles up the James River to wait for General Butler's Brigade to go south and on the 28th we were mustered into the Brigade and on the 4th of March we were ordered to go on board the steam ship CONSTITUTION for Ship Island. The 21st Indiana and the 4th Wisconsin and the 6th Mississippi Regiments are here and the following morning the ship left and as she ran from Newport News to Fort Monroe the Rebels fired six cannon shots at us, two passed overhead, and two fell short and two went in front of us but the noble ship CONSTITUTION ran by safe biding defiance to their guns, and our band playing The Star Spangled Banner and the noble ship was soon on the parent waters and our men as merry as if they were going to a May party. There was nothing worth mention until we reached the Natraz Reef and the sea was so rough that it made quite a number of our boys sea sick for a while. And the noble ship went on bidding defiance to the wind and wave and landed us safe on said island on the 13th. And we found the island to be a huge bank of sand where we are in camp the sand is shoe mouth deep and its white as snow and will drift when the wind blows. We have to carry our wood four miles through sand. We can get fresh water near the surface by sinking a barrel or box in the sand. The island has timber at the east end such as Pine and Live Oaks and Palmettoes and other evergreens and the island has quite a number of various shells that is a curiously to us. The weather is mild but windy and warm. I expect you would like to know how many soldiers their is here. There is thirteen regiments on the island and a few days ago there was thirty-one gunboats that left here to shell someplace but we have not heard from them. On yesterday we could see them firing by water. It is said in the camp that our boats proved to be to hard for them. I will close my letter when you write direct to Ship Island, Mississippi. I remain your son.
From David E Gregg