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Letters of Bernard Glock
9th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry
English Translation
Digital copies donated by Dan Clapp
Mr. Clapp also paid for translation services
letters translated by Kenneth Kronenberg

Additional letter translations in German and English donated by Thomas Glowatski II, translated by Charles Schmidt

Camp Wool, Hatteras Inlet, N.C.
November 7, 1861

My dearest parents and siblings!

I received your dear letter dated October 21, as well as the box that you were so good to send me, and I wish to convey my best thanks for it.

As far as the certificate that you sent is concerned, I have given it to my captain along with the letter, and he has promised to help me to obtain the box or the value of same if possible. You write that you soon expect to see me on leave, but I can assure you that you will have been waiting in vain because as long as open warfare lasts, there can be no thought of a leave.

We had a terrible rainstorm on November 2, as a result of which all land between Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras was underwater; in our camp, only a few tents were filled with water. As a result, our commander, General Williams, realized that we would not be able to spend the winter here, and we expect that we will soon be trading this place for another.

Day before yesterday, the rumor went around that Fort Macon, approximately 30 miles south of us, was bombarded and taken by several of our ships. Day and night we heard very loud cannon fire. On the same day, one of our small cannon boats was involved in a battle with 2 rebel steamers at New Inlet.

As far as the plants that I am supposed to send are concerned, I would be more than happy to send some to New York when we have the opportunity to do so, but you cannot imagine a more barren place for plants than Hatteras Inlet. One sees nothing here other than land, water, a few low tree stumps, and, of course, soldiers, but other than that nothing at all. I am, thank God, healthy and in good spirits, and I hope that these lines find you the same.

With the request that you convey my greetings to my sister Mary and her husband, my old grandmother, the Seifenfrau,1 Katharine, Misses Beyer, Mr. Stolle and his wife, and all my other acquaintances, I remain in the expectation of a quick response,

Your loving son and brother!
Bernhard Glock

Heartfelt greetings to Miss Ness

The above.

1 Literally, "soap woman." This is the sort of thing where you probably had to be there. It could be someone they knew who made or sold soap or, perhaps, it refers to the grandmother who forced him to bathe when he was a child. Or something else entirely. It is certainly not a name.

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Camp Reno, Roanoke Island
April 17th 1862

In German:
Camp Reno, Roanoke Island
April 17th 1862

Liebe Eltern u. Geschwister
Ich habe euren sehr werthen Brief heute richtig erhalten, und dauraus ersehen das ihr noch alle gesund und Munter seid, was mich von ganzen Herzen freute, was mich anbetrifft, bin ich noch immer gesund und Munter, ihr braucht uebrigens gar keine bang zu haben, wenn bei mir was vorfaellt, werdet ihr es gleich erfahren.  Ich habe einen Breif den 1ten J. m. an euch geschrieben, konnte ihn aber nicht frueher schicken bis den 10ten, ihr werdet ihn vielleicht schon erhalten haben. ich habe 20 Thaler die ich schicken will thun es aber nicht gerne bis ein Express Agent hier ist, aber ich denke das ich es doch thun den niemand weiss bis wann ein Express Agent hierher kommt. also werde ich es in diesem Brief legen, (die 20 Thaler naehmlich) und schreibt so bald als moeglich ob ihr es bekommen habt oder nicht.  Ich danke euch vielmal fuer eure gute ermahnungen und Lehre die ihr mir in euren Briefe mitgetheilt haben, ich werde sie so gut befolgen, wie es in meiner Kraft steht, und werde eure Ermahnungen auch nicht so leicht vergessen.

Weiter fragt ihr mich ob der Philip Krug, dein Cap. sein Bedienter ist, so viel ich weiss ist nicht dem Cap. sein Bedienter, und ueberdiess hat seine Comp. kein Cap. weil ihr Cap. zum Major gewaehlt worden ist.

Ferner schreibt ihr das der Christ 20 Thaler geschickt hat, ich frug ihn ob es wahr ist, sagte er, er hat kein Geld heim geschickt, also muss es ein Fehler sein.

Neues weiss ich eben nicht viel zu schreiben, die vorige Woche sind 2 Comp. die Co. H. & I. auf eine Expedition geschickt worden, nach Elisabeth City wir kamen frueh Morgens am 6 Uhr an dem Orte an, wir gingen durch die Stadt und als wir 5 Meilen aus erhalb der Stadt waren, nahmen wir 6 _____ (feindliche) gefangen. dann gingen wir noch einige Meilen weiter und haben noch 72 Rekruten gefangen genommen, dann sind wir wieder zurueck nach Roanoke. die Gefangene sind hier auf dieser Insel.

Nun will ich mein schreiben beschliessen und euch alle vielmal gruessen, gruesst mir auf mein Schwager, die Mr. Bayer, den Mr. Andes & seine Frau und meine Kameraden und alle die nach mir fragen.

Euer getreuer Sohn, Bruder
Bernhardt Glock
N.B. wenn ihr die Box noch nicht fort geschickt habt, so braucht ihr mir nur ein Hemd ein Taschentuch und ein Handtuch zu schicken.
B. G.

In English:
Camp Reno, Roanoke Island
April 17th 1862
Dear parents and siblings

I received your very valuable letter today, and from it see that you are all still healthy and lively, which I rejoice over with my entire heart.  With regards to me, I am still always healthy and lively, you need, by the way, to have no anxiety, because what has occurred to me, you will find out shortly.  I wrote a letter to you on the 1st of "J. m." [I think this could be January, but I'm not entirely sure what J. m. would stand for, other than Januar something], could not send it earlier than the 10th, you will perhaps already have received it.  I have 20 dollars [the word is Thaler in German, which is a German currency, but I suspect he means US dollars] that I want to send, but prefer not to until an Express Agent is here, but I think that i should do it after all because no one knows when an Express Agent is coming here.  So I will place it in this letter, (the 20 dollars, namely) and write as soon as possible to see if you received it or not.  I thank you very much for your good admonitions and lesson that you sent to me in your letter, I will follow it as well as it lies within my power, and will not so easily forget your admonitions.

Further, you asked me if Philip Krug is the captain of his [some sort of military group, I think -- I'll get back to you on this word once I get home to my German dictionary], so far as I know is not the captain of his [same word], and moreover his company has no captain because their captain has been promoted to major.

Furthermore you write that Christ sent 20 dollars, I asked him if this is true, said he, he sent no money home, therefore it must be a mistake.

Of news I just know not much to write, the previous week 2 companies, Co. H. & I., were sent on an expedition to Elizabeth City.  We came to that place early in the morning at 6 o'clock.  We went through the city and as we were 5 miles outside the city, we took 6 ______ [something like soldiers, troops, etc.]  (aggressive), then we went another mile further and had taken 72 more recruits, then we came back to Roanoke.  The prisoners are here on this island.

Now I want to conclude my writing and to you all many greetings, give my greetings to my brother-in-law, Mr. Bayer, Mr. Andes and his wife and my comrades and all who ask about me.

Your true son, brother
Bernhardt Glock
P.S. If you haven't sent the box away, you need send me only a shirt, a handkerchief, and a hand towel.
B. G.

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Camp Reno
Roanoke Island
May 24, 1862

Dear parents and siblings,

I am taking the opportunity to write you a few lines again. I also want to inform you that we received two months’ pay yesterday, and that I am sending you 15 thalers today by way of Adams Express. Write me as soon as possible whether you have received it or not.

There isn't much new to write except for the fact that we presented our colonel with a beautiful sword. The sword cost 366 thalers. The colonel gave a brief speech, and when he was finished, the tears welled up in his eyes and he had to leave. It was a very moving scene. He said that he could not have chosen a better or more beautiful sword if he had chosen that himself.

I have already sent 2 letters to my brother-in-law, but I have not yet received a response. Is he sick, or is something wrong with him?

As far as my person is concerned, I am still healthy and in good spirits, thank God.

I want to conclude now, and send everyone many greetings. Greetings as well to my brother-in-law and sister. Greetings also to Mr. and Mrs. Bayer, and Mr. and Mrs. Andes.

Your loyal son and brother,
Bernhard Glock

N.B. Write as soon as possible.

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Camp Reno, Roanoke Island
June 9, 1862

Dear parents and siblings,

I received your very lovely letter on the 7th of this month, and from it I take it that you are all healthy, which pleases me with all my heart. As far as my person is concerned, I am still healthy and in good spirits.

Dear parents, you write that you have not received a letter from me in more than 5 weeks; where the problem lies I do not know and there is no way that I can guess. The letters must be getting lost between here and Fort Munroe; other than that, I can think of no other reason. This morning, I went to see the regimental captain, and I asked him what is going on (because he is in charge of the letters). However, he couldn't explain it to me either. He told me it could either be that they got lost, or that they had the wrong address on them. But I know for certain that I always write the correct address because the ones that I sent earlier, I always sent with the same address as now.

Dear parents, I hope and believe that at least I will not be among the wounded sent to New York, because as far as we know here, we will be staying here for a fairly long time because the regiment now has a reading room, a theater, and a debate society. These are almost certainly signs that we will be staying here, and if I were to be sent to New York as a sick person, it would almost certainly not be my fault because I pay as good attention to my person as I can, so I would not become sick as a result of negligence on my part, but rather if I were to become sick, it would then certainly be God's will, and whatever God does is done for the best. If I were to become sick, I would do whatever I could to be sent home.

Dear parents, you further write that the Northern soldiers are treated with such cruelty. I don't know whether this is true or not, but we do hear frequently that the soldiers are treated in this manner. When we fought the battle at South Mills, we had to leave a few wounded behind because we didn't have any more wagons, and we couldn't carry them because the distance was too far. These wounded say that they were well treated, except that one of them said that his clothes had been taken from him. Furthermore, I don’t know how the others are treated because these are the only ones about whom I know personally.

Dear parents, I received the box and the letters as well. I have answered in the meantime, but as you say, you haven't received them. Dear parents, Katharina promised to send me a box. I want a straight razor, a few towels, and a mincing knife. You also told me that you sent me a scissors, but I didn't see one. Please send it to me in Katharina's box. I also sent a few letters to my brother-in-law, but haven't received any reply. Am I not worthy of an answer? Well, I want to close my letter now, sending heartfelt greetings to all, especially to my brother-in-law. I send greetings to all my friends and acquaintances. Your loyal son and brother, Bernhardt Glock.

Write as soon as possible. I also sent $15.00 a few weeks ago by way of Adams Express. Did you receive it?

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Newport News, Virginia
1 Aug 1862

In German:

Newport News Va. Aug. 1st 1862

Liebe Eltern u. Geschwistern!

Ich habe euren werthen Brief Gestern richtig erhalten, und daraus ersehen, das ihr noch alle Gesund seid was mich von Ganzen Herzen freute, was mich ____[the fold and faded writing here make this word very hard to read, but I believe it's anbelangt] bin ich noch immer Gesund und Munter Gott sei Dank

Liebe Eltern weiter sehe ich das ihr so viel Sorgen und Kummer um mich haben, ja, wozu den hab ich denn jemal geklagt, ich kann mich nicht errinnern, das ich mich jemals beklagt habe ich weiss wohl welches Gefuehl mann hat, wenn mann das erste mal getrennt und so weit weg ist, dieses Gefuehl hatte ich auch schon es war aber von kurzer Dauer denn an so was darf ein Soldat nicht denken ja wohl mir waere es auch lieb wenn wir uns bald wieder sehen koennten aber mann darf nicht eher daran denken bis 9 Monaten verflossen sind dann wenn es der Wille Gottes ist werden wir weider einander Gesund beisamen sehen

Wir liegen nicht mehr nahe Norfolk wir sind jetzt wieder in Newport News, haette ich es frueher gewust dann waere ich nach dem Spital ihn zu sehen, naehmlich Gaas [could be Haas] und Meyer, also kann ich sie nicht besuchen.

Neuigkeiten weiss ich besonders keine wir sind am 24 July von Norfolk weg und sind hier in Newport News angekomen dem naehmlichen Tag, es ist aber alles veraendert, es sind von 25 bis 30,000 Mann hier ein Regiment nach dem andere 2 bis 3 Meilen in der laenge es sieht sehr schoen aus nichts wie die weissen Zelter zu sehen fuer so eine grossen strecke wegs hin

Liebe Eltern es waere mir lieb wenn ihr mir eine Box schicken wuerden, abe es muss gleich geschehen denn es ist nicht gewiss das wir lange hier bleiben

Schickt mir die folgende Sachen erstens schickt mir viel Kauhtaback eine flasche sweet oil und etwas Emery Paper, und wenn ihr mir was zu trinken schicken wollt so muesst ihr es in eine blecherne Kanne thun und eine Label daran kleben wie zum Beispiel Preserved Peaches oder Quinces oder sonst was denn die Boxen warden hier aufgemacht und wenn es nicht gut verwahrt ist so wird es heraus genommen, und wenn ihr was zu essen schicken wollt, koennt ihr es auch thun, aber ihr muesst es gleich schicken, wir sind noch nicht bezahlt worden sonst haette ich schon laengst Geld heim geschickt so bald wir bezahlt werden, werde ich so viel schicken wie ich kann, schickt mir auch einige Post Stamps, denn so viel ich hoere werden sie fuer klein change ausgegeben so muesst ihr doch viele haben und schickt mir auch ein Taschenmesser.

Nun will ich mein schreiben schiessen und euch liebe Eltern und Geschwister vielmal Gruessen, ich lasse auch Mr. Andes u. seine Familie, so wie Mr. Bayer und Familie, und Mr. Stoll und Familie vielmal Gruessen der Chris lasst euch und besonders die Katharina vielmal Gruessen

In English:

Newport News, Va. Aug. 1st, 1862

Dear parents and siblings!

 I received your very valuable letter yesterday, and from it see that you are all still healthy, which I rejoice over with my entire heart. As for me, I am still always healthy and lively, thank God.

Dear parents, I see further that you have so much worry and grief about me. What for, have I ever complained? I cannot remember that I ever complained. I know fully what feeling one has when one is separated for the first time and is so far away. I also had this feeling already, however, it was for a shorter time. Such things a soldier may not think, surely. I would also love it if we could soon be together, but one may not think about it sooner than until 9 months have passed. Then, if it is the will of God, we will see each other together and healthy again.

We lie no longer near Norfolk. We are now again in Newport News. If I would have known sooner, then I would have been by the hospital to see them, namely Gaas [or Haas -- my comment on this below] and Meyer. Therefore, I cannot visit them.

Of news I know nothing particularly. We left Norfolk on 24 July arrived here in Newport News the same day. It is, however, all changed. There are from 25 to 30,000 men here, one regiment after another, 2 to 3 miles in length. It looks very beautiful. There is nothing to see like the white palfreys for such a large distance out.

Dear parents, I would be dear to me if you would send me a box, but it must happen soon because it is not known that we'll stay here long.

Send me the following items: Firstly, send me a lot of chewing tobacco, a bottle of sweet oil and some emery paper, and if you want to send me something to drink, then you must put it in a tin can and stick a label on it, for example, preserved peaches or quinces, or anything else, because the boxes will be opened here and if it is not stored well it is taken out, and if you want to send me something to eat, you could also do it, but you must send it immediately. We have not yet been paid, otherwise I would have already long ago [I have another note below about this] sent money home. As soon as we're paid, I would send as much as I can. Also send me a few postage stamps, because I hear so much that they are issued for small change, so you must have many, and send me also a pocketknife.

Now will I close my writing and send you, dear parents and siblings, many greetings. I also send many greetings to Mr. Andes and his family, also Mr. Bayer and family, and Mr. Stoll and family. Chris sends many greetings to you and especially Katharina.

Note 1: In this handwriting, G and H can look similar. By his writing, this looks to be a G, but I have no H for comparison. I included it because it's possible and potentially a more likely name.

Note 2: The best translation I can give is "long ago", but I don't think that is quite an accurate description of just how long he was trying to say. The phrase he used was "schon laengst" (again, ae rather than umlaut a to save time typing). "schon" is the part that translates to already. "laengst" comes from the word "lang" which translates to long. But this is the superlative form. Where English has long, longer, longest, German has lang, langer, laengst. If it had been a while since he would have liked to have sent it, it would be more typical to write "schon lange" to indicate it had been along time. He jumped from long up to longest. I couldn't find a good way to say "already longest ago", so I thought I'd add this explanation to clarify.

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Camp opposite Fredricksburg, Virginia,
December 29, 1862

Editors note:  I have to say, I firmly believe that this was NOT written by the same hand as the others.  It makes me wonder if he was injured earlier that month in the Battle of Fredericksburg.  He says he's healthy, but based on his parents' worries that he mentioned in the other letters, perhaps he wouldn't have told them. otherwise.  Anyhow, the capitalization and punctuation are far better (though there's some extra capitalization), almost any letter that could be formed slightly differently is, the writer tends to tilt words rather than hyphenate (hyphenation was common in the other two), and there are two other differences I consider important.  One is that where the other two would incorrectly use "das", this one correctly uses "dass" (with s set).  The other is that when compounding prepositions, there is an error -- or maybe a dialect difference.  Where we say on it, for it, to it, etc., the Germans accomplish the same thing by adding "da" to the beginning of the preposition -- unless it begins with a vowel, in which case they add "dar".  The writer here uses "dar" in several instances when the r isn't necessary (darzu, darnach rather than dazu, danach; but interestingly dabei and not darbei).  He signs his name here using Lating script, whereas the others had the signature in German script.  Also, this time it begins "Teure Eltern" rather than "Liebe Eltern", though they mean about the same thing.

In German:

Camp opposite Fredericksburgh Va.
December 29th 1864

Teure Eltern!

Da ich auf meine beiden letzte Briefe inclusive $25.00 an Euch bis heute noch keine Antwort erhalten habe, befuerchte ich, dass Ihr dieselben noch nicht erhalten habt & ersuche Euch daher hier mit mich sobald wie moeglich wissen zu lassen ob Ihr das Geld erhalten habt damit ich noethigenfalls mich darnach erkundigen kann.

Ihr werdet wohl schon aus den Zeitung angelernt haben, dass unsere Truppen am 10th D. s. ueber den Rappahannock gegangen sind & am 13tn eine grosse Schlacht mit den Rebelen hatten, die Ausgang nahm, indem es aus nicht gelang den Feind aus seinen Verschanzungen zu vertrieben sondern waren genoethigt aus mit grossem Verlust auf diese Seite den Flusses zurueckzuziehen.  Unser Regiment nahm Theil am Gefecht wir waren jedoch [sogleich is crossed out] gluecklich wir sehr wenige dabei zu verlieren & bin auch ich gluecklich & gesund mit Gottes Hilfe darangekommen.  Wir liegen seitdem wieder auf unsserem alten Camp grund & hoffen bald in Winter Quartir zu gehen.  Vor kurzem hatte ich das Vergangen George & Moser zu sehen & auch Baecker sie sind alle wohl & lassen Euch gruessen.

Da das Neue Jahr so nahe an der Hand ist, nehme ich hier mit die Gelegenheit Euch meine herzlichen Glueckwuensche darzu bringen & in dem ich Euch herzlich danke fuer alles was Ihr im vergangenen Jahr an mir gethen habt, bitte ich Euch die $25.00, als Anerkennung meiner dankbarkeit zum Geschenk anzunehmen, ich haette Euch recht gerne mehr geschickt allein die Umstaende erlaubten es mir nicht.  hoffend dass Ihr das Geld richtig erhalten warden schliesse mit dem Wuensche dass Ihr auch viele Neu Jahrstage gesund & gluecklich erleben moechtete & ersuche Euch meiner Schwester & Schwager ebenfalls meine Glueckwuensche auszurichten & verbleibe Euer dankbarer Sohn

Bernhard Glock

Meine Adresse ist:
Bernhard Glock
Co. H. 9th Regt.: N.Y.V.
Hawkins Zouaves 1th Brig.
3d Dvision 9th Army Corps

On the bottom, upside-down with respect to the rest:
Mrs. Am. Glock
Port Richmond
Staaten Island

In English:

Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.
December 29th, 1864

Beloved Parents!

That I included $25.00 in both of my last letters two you and by today have still received no answer makes me worry that you did not receive it and I urge you let me know here as soon as possible if you received the money so that I can inquire about it if necessary.

You will probably already have learned from the newspaper that our troops crossed the Rappahannock on the 10th of December and on the 13th had a large battle with the rebels, that for our side had such a bad outcome, as we did not succeed in expelling the enemy from his entrenchments, but rather were compelled to withdraw with great loss to this side of the river.  Our regiment was, however, lucky.  We lost very few to it and I am also lucky and arrived healthy with God's help.  We lie since then again on our old campground and hope to go into winter quarters soon.  Recently I had to see the former/departed/bygone [this makes me unsure I got the right German word here] George & Moser and also Baecker.  The are all well and send you greetings.

Because the New Year is so near at hand, I'm taking here the chance to give my heartfelt good wishes to you and with it heartfelt thanks to you for all that you did for me in the past year.  Please accept the $25.00 as recognition of my thankfulness as a gift.  I would have quite liked to send you more, but circumstances alone did not allow me.  Hoping that you will receive the money.  Closing with the wish that you also live to see many New Year's Days healthy and happy.  Would like to ask you to bring my good wishes likewise to my sister and brother-in-law and remain your thankful son.

Bernhard Glock

My address is:
Bernhard Glock
Co. H., 9th Regt.: New York Volunteers
Hawkins Zouaves 1th Brig.
3d Division 9th Army Corps

Mrs. Am. Glock
Port Richmond
Staten Island

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Newport News, Virginia,
February 17, 1863

In German:

Newport News Va:    

dhen 17ten Februar 18/63 

Liebe Elter

Ich wude? eich hir benachrichtigen das ich eiren 4 Briefe erhalten habe und es hate mich ser gefreit das ir immer gesund und wohl seind und waes mich antrieft bin ich auch immer gesund und wohl.

Liebe Elter ir schreibt mir das welche von unsserem Regiment zuhauss geschrieben haben das wir vier unsere Cleider bezahlen muessen was auch so ist

Liebe Elter ich haette eich schon lange gern geschrieben aber es salte mir an der zeit und ir werdet auch schon muessen wir Fredericksburg verlassen haben am 6ten dieses monats und am 9ten seind wir in Newport News gelandet und haben so die ganze zeit an unssere kleine Huette gebaust so das wir trogen luegen, das wetter ist ser schlecht hir die letzte 24 Stunden den es regnet was von dem Himmel herunder kammen kann. Liebe Elter ir schreibt auch das ir gern wuessen wohlt wo ich war so lange ich von dem Regiment fort war ich war auf Provo gaard aber ich bin jezt wieder bei dem Regiment, ich habe auch in eiren Briefe ersehen das ir wohlt das ich in dem Fach? schreiben sol aber ich weiss nichts neues im zu schreiben den unsser Regiment schon war hat er es schon in der Zeitung ge- lesen und sonst weiss ich nichts zu schreiben nur wirde ich mein schreiben schliessen und hofe das eich der Brief gesund und wohl antrieft als wie er mich verlaesst nun so Lebedwohl auf Baldiges Widersehen

von eiren Sohn
Bernard Glock

Viele Gruesse an Herrn Stoll und seine Famiele Herrn Baier und Famiele und sonst auch alle Freinde und Bekannte

Viele Gruesse an eich von dem Kratt

Adresiren meine Briefe nach Newport News Va:

In English:

Newport News, Va.
the 17th of February 1863

Dear parents

I would like to inform you hear that I received your 4 letters and it made me very glad that you are always healthy and well, and as for me, I am also always healthy and well.

Dear parents, you write me that someone from our regiment wrote home that we must pay for our clothes, which is true.

Dear parents, I would have liked to have already written to you long ago, but it should give me time and you must also already know that we left Fredericksburg on the 6th of this month and on the 9th landed in Newport News and have spent the entire time building our little huts so that we can lie dry.  The weather is very bad here the last 24 hours, because it rains down from the sky what can come.  Dear parents, you write also that you would like to know where I was so long when I was away from the regiment.  I was on Provo guard [apparently some sort of police detail under the provost marshal] but I am now with the regiment again.  I have also seen in your letters that want that I should write in the subject [Subject is the translation of Fach, but I'm not 100% sure that's what the word is.  What I'm reading is F, but could easily be K, or even something else.  This is the only word I could get that even remotely made sense, but the translation still seems a little awkward.], but I know nothing new to write because our regiment already has.  He already read it in the newspaper and otherwise I know nothing to write.  Now I will close my writing and hope that the letter finds you healthy and well, just like it leaves me now, so farewell until I see you soon.

from your son

Bernard Glock

Many greetings to Mr. Stoll and his family, Mr. Baier and family and otherwise also all friends and acquaintances.

Many greetings to you from Kratt.

Address my letters to Newport News, Va.

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Newport News, Virginia,
Februrary 23, 1863

In German:

New Port News February 23th 1863
             Theuere Eltern!

Eure lieben Brief vom 20ten Ds. habe ich erhalten & ersehe darausmit Vernuegen dass Ihr alle wohl seid.

Ihr macht mir Vorwuerfe dass ich so wenig schreibe & fragt ob ich dass Schreiben ganz aufgeben wolle.  Allein ich habe weder das Letztere im Sinn noch habe ich den ersten Verweis verdient, denn ich habe am 17ten ds. Monat eine Brief an Euch geschrieben. Den Ihr nicht erhalten haben muesst, & habe mich ausserdem immer bestrebt wenn immer es mir moeglich war Briefe an Euch zu schreiben.

In einem meiner frueheren Briefe erwaehnte ich jedoch schon dass ein Soldat nicht immer muesten seiner Zeit ist, & erwartet dass Ihr es nicht so sehr genau nehmen wuerdet, wenn ich manchmal nicht sogleich Euere Briefe beantworte. Ihr duerft ueberzeugt sein dass ich Euerer (often) gedenke & der Pflichten eines Sohn es gegen seine Eltern bewusst bin & bitte Euch hiermit diess zu beruecksichtigen.

Da es scheint dass Ihr meinen letzten Brief nicht erhalten habt wiederhole ich dass wir also am 6ten Dds. Fredricksburg verliessen & von Aquia Creek pr. Steamer nach New Port News gebracht das ganze 9tn Armee corps ist hier & ist es sehr wahrscheinlich, dass wir fuer laengere Zeit hier bleib- en werden, vielleicht bis unsere Zeit aus ist, ich befinde mich Gott Lob & gefaellt es mir ganz gut hier, diess ist das dritte Mal dass unser Regiment hier ist & fuehlen wir uns gleichsam zu Hause hier.

Da wir wohl fuer mehren Wochen noch kein Geld bekommen warden & Geld & Taback schon seit einiger Zeit aus ist bitte ich Euch mir mit naechsten Gelegenheit eine gute Quantitaet Kautaback ein wenig Rauchtaback, Butter ein Paar Sacktuecher, ein Handtuch, ein Taschenmesser & medicin zu schicken, bitte verpacket die medicin in einer Zinnflasche und thut das Docters label daraus, wie das letzte mal, damit es nicht confisciert wird; die Sutlers verlangen hier $4.00 fuer ein Flasche schlechten Whiskey.

Schicket kein Brod da mir hier frisches Brod als rations geliefert bekommen & ebenso habe ich genug von allein andern Kleidungsstricken.  Es wird das Beste sein wenn Ihr einen eisernen Reif um die Bax macht daraus sie nicht die Muehe nehmen es aufzumachen & zu untersuchen.

Schliesslich hoffe ich dass Ihr alle wohl & gesund seid & zehle ich mit Spannung die Tage die wir noch zu dienen haben (es sind huete noch 75 Tage) man spricht davon dass sie gerne die Hawkins Zouaves noch fuer ein Jahr laenger behalten wollen allein the boys can't see it wir wollenbis Fruehjahr nach Hause gehen & zu Hause bleiben Unter herzlich Gruessen an Alle die ich kenne verbleibe ich

Euer dankbaren Sohn
Bernhard Glock

In English:

Newport News, February 23rd, 1863

Beloved parents!

I received you're letter from the 20th of this month and see from it with pleasure that you are all well.

You make accusations that I write so little and ask if I want to give up writing entirely.  I have neither the latter in mind nor do I deserve the former reprimand, because I wrote you a letter on the 17th of this month [I think it was this month] that you must not have received, and moreover I have always to write you a letter whenever it was possible.

In my earlier letters, I mentioned that a soldier would not always have his time, and anticipated that you would not take it very well, because I don't always answer your letters immediately. You might be assured that I think of you often and the responsibilities of a son to his parents are known and ask you to please take this into account.

Since it appears that you didn't receive my last letter, I will therefore repeat that we left Fredericksburg on the 6th of this month and by Aquia Creek pr. Steamer were brought to Newport News.  The entire 9th army corps is here and it is likely that we will be here for a longer time, perhaps until our time is up.  I find myself, praise God, and to me it feels entirely good here.  This is the third time that our Regiment is here and we feel almost at home here.

Since we probably still will not receive any money for multiple weeks and money and tobacco have already been gone for some time, I ask you at the next chance to send a good quantity of chewing tobacco, a little smoking tobacco, butter, a few handkerchiefs, a hand towel, a pocket knife, and medicine.  Please pack the medicine in a tin can and put a Doctor's label on it like the last time, so that it will not be confiscated.  The Sutlers charge $4.00 here for a bottle of bad whiskey.

Send no bread, as I receive fresh bread as rations and I also have enough from stitching others' clothes.  It would be best if you put an iron band around the box so that they do not take the trouble to open and examine it.

In closing, I hope that your are all well and healthy and I count with suspense the days we still have to serve (it is 75 days today).  It is said that they would like to keep the Hawkins Zouaves for a year longer, only the boys can't see it.  We want to go home and stay home by spring.

Heartfelt greetings to all I know.  I remain

Your thankful son,
Bernhard Glock

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Newport News, Virginia,
March 21, 1863

In German:

New Port News Va. March 21th 1863                        

Theure Eltern!

Am 8ten ds sandte iche einen Brief an Euch als Antwort auf Euer lieb- es Schreiben vom 1ten ds indem Ihr mir die Versendung der Box ankuendigtet, welche ich seitdem richtig erfallen habe ich fand Alles richtig & in gutem Stande wie Ihr es mir in Euerem Briefe angezeigt hattet; die Me- dizin war augezeichend & liebt mir ueberhaupt vortreffich schmeck- en; Eure Pfeife fard ich gefuellt & auch sie mit grossen Vergnueg aus, ich allein Andeken von Euch in grosser Ehre halten & sage Euch hiermit fuer dieselbe sowie fuer Alles meinen herz- lichen Dank.

Da Ihr mir auf meinen letzten Brief vom 8ten ds noch mit geantwortet habt befuerhte ich dass ihr denselben noch nicht erhalten habt, was mir sehr leid thun wuerde, denn Ihr seid vielleicht der Meinung ich haette noch nicht geschrieben & bitte Euch daher mir so bald wie moeg- lich zu schreiben ob Ihr den Brief erhalten habt oder nicht.

Das Neueste was es hier gibt ist dass Federman glaubt unser Regiment werde wahrschein- lich schon bis naechsten ersten April nach Hause gehen was uns Allen natuerlich sehr ang- nehm waere; ausserdem ist das 9te Armee Corp unter Marsch Befehl ausser unserem Regimente & ist ein grosser Theil der Truppen bereits von hier ab- gegangen.  Es ist daher sehr wahr- scheinlich dass wir die kurze Zeit die wie noch zu dienen haben hier bleiben werden & dann von demselben Platze nach Hause gehen werden zu dem wir das erste mal von New York kamm.

Schliesslich ich hoffe dass Ihr alle gesund & munter seid sowie auch ich mich Gott Lob immer wohl befinde & verbleibe unter herzlichen Gruessen an Euch & alle meine Bekannte

dankbaren Sohn
Bernhard Glock

herzliche Gruesse an herrn Beyer & seine Familie; ebenso an Kratts Leute. Christian Kratt laesst Euch & seine Geschwister bestes gruessen

Das 103te Regiment verlies diesen Platz am 13ten ds. man sagt sie gingen nach Suffolk. Helwick besuchte mich ehe er fort ging & laesst Euch & seinen Vater vielmal gruessen.

In English:

Newport News, Va. March 21st, 1863

Beloved parents!

On the 8th of this month I sent you a letter as an answer to beloved letter from the 1st of this month, by you announced to me the sending of the box, which I have since then received.  I found everything right and in a good state, like you indicated in your letter.  The medicine was excellent and I especially love the taste.  Your pipe I found full and also took great pleasure from it.  I'm keeping it in great honor as a memory of you and give you hereby for it and for everything my heartfelt thanks.

As you have not yet answered my last letter from the 8th of this month I suspect that you have still not received it, for which I would be very sorry, because you are perhaps of the opinion that I would not have written and I ask you therefore to write me as soon as possible if you received the letter or not.

The newest there is here is that Federman believes our Regiment will likely go home by the next first of April, which we all naturally would find very likable.  In addition, the 9th Army Corps is under marshal law except for our regiments and a large part of the troops have already been dispatched from here.  It is therefore very likely that we will stay here for the short time we still have to serve and then will go home to the same place to which we first came in New York.

In closing, I hope that you all are healthy and lively, as I also always find myself, praise God, and remain under heartfelt greetings to you and all of my acquaintances

Your  thankful son
Bernhard Glock
Heartfelt greetings to Mr. Beyer and his Familie, as well as Kratt's people.  Christian Kratt sends you and his siblings best greetings.

The 103rd regiment left this place on the 13th of this month.  It is said that they went to Suffolk.  Helwick visited me before he went away and sends you and his father many greetings.

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Newport News, Virginia,
March 31, 1863


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Detachment 9th N.Y.C
Fort Monroe, May 26, 1863

Dear parents and siblings,

Once again I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines. [Unintelligible sentence]. Dear parents, it is lovely that you have received the second letter that I wrote you, and why you don't write me I don't understand. Did I write anything in my last letter that insulted you that I would not have understood? And so I hope that you will write me [unintelligible]. It is been a whole month now since I last heard from you. I have nothing new to tell you other than I am in Fort Munroe, and that we will remain here until our time is done. My time will be done on August 10.

I will conclude my letter now and sent you heartfelt greetings from your loyal son,2

Bernhard Glock

Co. A, Detachment 9 N.Y.C.
Fortress Munroe

2 This letter appears to have been written in dialect with unusually nonstandard spelling compared to Glock's other letters (Auchust instead of August, alβ instead of als, etc.). The handwriting is also very unusual for him. Why he did this I don't know, but it made it very difficult to decode.

Page images are here.

1864 letter
No address

Editors note:  Okay, definitely does not involve Bernard.  Written from Catharina and Willhelm Jäger to someone named Karl.  I'm convinced the town name at the top is Kunzels, but there is a slight chance the z is a g.  Perhaps you know where these people would be and can make something of that.  I was under the impression that style of greeting used here is more common in southern Germany than northern, but I wouldn't go by that.  There is a mix of plural and singular you in the letter (noted by me as pl. and s.), I think indicated referring to Karl in some instances and his entire family in others.  It's a sad letter to read.  There is one word I can't identify just yet.  I'm still working on it, but it seems to be something that's baked.  When reading this one, I stared for a while at Wurstmaschine, thinking it couldn't possibly reference a sausage machine, but the letters were there, plain as day.

In German:

Kunzels an 2ten Febr. 1864

Gott zum Grus!

Deinen Brief habe ich erhalten und daraus ersehen das ihr gottlob alle gesund seid und was uns anbelangt sind wir auch alle gott sei Dank gesund, ich habe geglaubt ihr habt es ver- schworen an uns noch einmal zu schreiben, ihr darft mir wohl schreiben ohne etwas zu schicken ich bin froh wenn ich nur etwas von euch erfahren thu, in dem es so schlimm bei euch zu geht, da kennt ihr euch wohl denken dass mann immer in Gedanken bei euch ist ich ben froh wenn ich nur einen Brief bekomm es mus nicht alle mal etwas darin stecken, es geht nicht so aermlich zu bei mir nur verdienen alle Tage was wir brauchen wenn wir gesund bleiben kein Kind haben wir nicht. Lieber Karl. Vom Karl kann ich euch nichts mehr schreiben vor 2 Jahren haber wir Nachricht bekommen dass er wieder nach Deutschland reissen wollte, aber leider unterwegs er krank geworden und hat ihn ein Lungen schlag getroffen und ist gestorben, er reisste ueber Hammburg und ihm Churhessischen liegt er begraben man kann sagen es ist auf den einen Weg recht gut gegangen es hat ihn ein Unglueck getroffen die Wurstmaschine hat ihm die rechte Hand verletzt in dem er Arbeits unfaehig geworden waere.  Lieber Karl vom _iekele [it's a name, and apparently female.  The first letter(s) are hard to identify. Could be St, N, maybe Q or Z; maybe one of those will seem familiar] kann ich dir gar nichts schreiben in dem wir schon 10 Jahren nichts von ihr hoerten ich habe geglaubt sie waere drin bei euch, ich habe mir schon alle Muehe gegeben um zu erfahren wo sie ist, vom Phillipp kann ich euch mittheilen wie es dem geht sein Stiefsohn hatte vorige Jahr Hochzeit vom ihm ist kein Kind da, es geht ihm so weit gut sein Geschaeft geht so weit orndlich [I can't dispute this letters, but I can find no translation for that; in the translation I've substituted ordentlich, which could be what was meant] er hat zimmlich Gueter hat 2 Kuh Stall seine Schwaegerin ist voriges Jahr gestorben da hat er auch etwas geerbt Vom Bruder Friedrich Wolz kann ich euch benachrichtigen dass er voriges Jahr ihm Oktbr Gestorben ist, sein Acker wurde verkauft vor 250 fl. etwas ist er darauf schuldig gewessen und das uebrige hat sein Kind bekommen. Lieber Karl ihm naechsten Brief wo wir von dir erwarten bemerke es auch wie es mit deinen Eltern und Geschwistert geht was die 2 Maedle treiben ich bin immer ihn gedanken bei euch Lieber Karl diese Freude wenn du uns machen wuerdest die waere unbeschreiblich, da thaten wir mein 50 Jaehrigen Geburtstag feiern der ist ihm 11ten 8br wenn du es richten kannst da thaet ich aber ________ backen auf Mord und Brand auch meine herzlichen Dank fuer das Geschenk.  Jetzt will ich mein Schreiben schliessen mit der Bitte um eine baldige Nachricht und weil du es geschrieben hast ich soll ihn nicht frei machen so habe ich es auch gethan.

Ich gruesse euch alle
Catharina Jaeger u. Willhelm Jaeger
In the box on the side:
Ich will es euch auch zu wissen thun dass der Kammacher Voyt/Vogt auch gestorben ist, er ist unter den Eisenbahn den Fuss abge- quaetscht, das uebrige wollen wir all es muendlich miteinander sprechen das kann man nicht alles Schreiben ich weiss noch viel aber gelt schreiben bald

In English:

Kunzels on the 2nd of February 1864

God's greetings! (literally God as a greeting)

I received your (s.) letter and from it see that you all, praise God, are healthy, and as far as concerns us, we also are all healthy, thank God.  I believed you (pl.) had contrived to write to us again.  You (pl.) may, to be sure, write to me without something to send.  I am happy if I only hear something from you (pl.), in which it goes so bad with you (pl.), because you know you (pl.) probably think one is always in your (pl.) thoughts. [Sorry that sentence was awkward.  After much trying, I really could find no better way to phrase it, and I'm still not entirely sure what was trying to be said.]  I am happy if I only receive a letter.  There must not be something stuck in it every time.  It doesn't go so poorly with me only to earn what we need every day, if we remain healthy, for we have no child.  Dear Karl.  Of Karl I can write you (pl.) nothing more.  Two years ago we received news that he wanted to travel back to Germany, but unfortunately he became sick on the way and met with a pulmonary infarction and died.  He traveled over/via/across Hamburg and lies buried in the electorate of Hesse. One can say it's for the best, in a way.  He met with an accident.  The sausage machine injured his right hand so that he would have become incapable of work.  Dear Karl, of _iekele [that name -- see note in the German section] I can write you (s.) absolutely nothing, as we have heard nothing from her for 10 years.  I believed she would be there with you (pl.).  I already gave all my effort in order to learn where she is.  Of Philipp I can tell you (pl.) how it goes.  His stepson was married last year.  He has no child.  For him it goes well, on the whole.  His business is fair [translation of ordentlich -- see note in German], on the whole.  He has some property, has 2 cow stalls.  His sister-in-law died last year, from which he also inherited something.  Of brother Friedrich Wolz I can inform you that he died last year in October.  His land/field/farm was sold for 250 fl. [I have no idea what unit of currency that would have represented].  Something had been due on it and the rest his child received.  Dear Karl, in the next letter, which we await from you (s.), comment on how things are with your parents and siblings and what the 2 young ladies are doing.  I am always with you in thought.  Dear Karl, if you (s.) would do us this pleasure, it would be beyond words, because we celebrated my 50th birthday, which is on the 11th of October.  If you (s.) can arrange it, as I did bake ___________.  To Mord and Brand [I hope these are names.  It makes sense treating them as such, but otherwise it translates to murder and arson...] my heartfelt thanks for the gift.  Now I want to close my writing with the request for news soon and if you (s.) wrote it, I should not make him free, because I have also done it. [not exactly sure what that means, but there you have it]

I greet you (pl.) all
Catharina Jaeger and Willhelm Jaeger
In the box on the side:
I also want you (pl.) to know that Kammacher Voyt/Vogt [I lean towards the g] also died.  He squeezed his foot under the train.  The rest we want to tell you by mouth together.  One cannot write everything.  I still know much but will rightly [that's a rough translation of gelt; it also is indicative of southern Germany or Austria] write soon.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: January 6, 2015

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