This letter is from the collection of Dale Call.
Camp Aiken Bridgeport Aug. 29 1862
How did they make out yesterday at the church about the sexton? Who rang the bell? We had service in the Chapel tent Sat. evening from 8 to 9. It was first rate, the minister is just the one to please the soldiers. Next morning we had service in the Chapel tent. I should think there were twice as many citizens as soldiers. At the close of the services a collection was taken up to help pay for the Chapel tent, books etc. In the evening the soldiers went to church in the city. Each company marched by itself. I should think the church would hold more than one although it is not as large. It was crowded so that the isles were about full & some sat on the pulpit stairs. Our company sat on the bench around the altar facing the congregation. In front of me sat Mr. P.T. Barnum the great museum man and humbugger. At his right hand sat the Colonel of our regmt. So you see I sat among other big men besides myself. The singing was good. They had a melodeon [Ed. note: this is a reed organ used in smaller churches]. Some of the men behaved so bad yesterday that they had to put them in the guard tent. I enjoy myself very well. Some things are nice and some not. Today I went into the city & got an army knife. I ate my dinner with it, put it in my pocket & that is the last I have seen of it. I paid .87 cts. I find quite a number of nice men in the company. Today we chose Wm. Todd for our cook & James Hearne for assistant cook. Wm. Todd has cooked on tryal for some time now. Today we had to sign papers so as to get the rest of our bounty money. It will be paid in a day or two. We some expect to go away in a Wednesday or Thursday. I guess not until Thursday. A great many people come on the ground to see the soldiers. Tuesday evening we expect top dedicate the Chapel tent. I don’t know as I have told how we have come by the tent. The minister who preaches to us has a vacation from N. York. He used to preach in Bridgeport. He is first rate in beging and has begged enough to warrant getting the tent. He says that if the people in B. don’t care enough about the soldiers to finish giving the tent he will give what he has advanced. So last night another collection was taken. I wish the people of Greenwich would come over here some of them. It seems quite refreshing to see a familiar face besides those who are here. Today I saw Wash Merritts wife. I should not have known her is she had not spoken first. I also saw Kate Avery. She is in B. visiting. Thomas Edwards came this afternoon. Another man joined today. I don’t know him. He is a quere looking man. Tell mother and the rest of the folks that I will write soon. I will write to your folks soon. I hope you & the children are well. Don’t get lonesome.
Your affectionate husband,