Daniel L Lawton was born in 1836, the son of Oliver and Roena (Howe) Lawton, great grandson of Oliver and Ann (Rathbun) Lawton, first of the family to leave Rhode Island for New York. Daniel joined the U S Army August 29, 1862, so would have been away from home about a month when this letter was written.
Direct-Captain Osborns Battery
Sickles Divishion, Washington, DC
Camp near Alexandria Sep 28th, 1862
Estteemed Sister Julia
As this is Sabath I will improve it, by writing to you. I have not heard a word from Home or that vicinity Since I left. I writetin two or three letters to Elsie and the rest of you there, but have rec'd no answer. I do not know wheather Elsie is at Champion or to your house. I directed her letters to Champion and if she has not you house it accounts for it So you See that it makes it mor lonely for me than it would have been if I could hear from home I presume that you are all happy there at home, at least I hope so. But as for me I am quite lonely here in this Strang land, without friends, but I must not repine for Providence will watch and protect me I have no reason to complain for the boys are all very kind to me, and I Shal not allow myself to feel bad but when I awake in the Silent night it is very hard to drive those wandering thoughts from my mind. The past and future lingers about but I will not allow my Self to think of trouble for it comes fas enough in this world with anticipating it.
My health is and has been first rate. I have nothing to do as yet. I was appointed this week Bugaler by our Captain When he gets the Horses and Bugal I shall have nothing to do then but take cair of my horse and blow a few calls a day I have no other duty to perform. So you See that I have rather a good birth.
Our fair is good I was appointed Cook for Seven of us they said they would pay me what ever it was worth,and give me my board extra So you See that I am going to make enoug out of it, for my Spending money and asmall amount besides. We have Potatoes, Onions, Beef, Stakes, Pork, Tea, Coffee and good Bread. We havePotatoes Stake or Pork twice a day So you See that our living is good as can be asked for I am going tohave Pancakes for Supper I wish that you and the rest of my friends could be here and take Supper with us I wish now that Elsie had learnt me more in that department of house keeping but enoug of this for I fear I have weared your patience
How does all the folks get along. Are they well, Dempster was at Washington yesterday he Saw Eugene Morrisand the rest of the boys they are all well Yes how does Elsie do has She been well Since I left I Shouldlike to hear from her, but if She is at home She does not want to hear from me or She would write but I cannot think but she has written or has not rec'd my letters and her letters has not reached me. I have a great many things to Say, but have no room this time
P. S. Kiss little Frank for me
Your ever efectionate Brother D. L. Lawton
P. S. Write as Soon as rec'd and as often as you can and tell me all the news