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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

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
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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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.


New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: June 7, 2011

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