Richard Clow’s February 1865 Letter Clips

Richard Headley Clow about 18 yrs Civil War Uniform 001As with all soldiers, what is written has to be read with the knowledge that they can only tell you so much with words,  Here are a few of Richard Clow’s first field comments after enlisting  in the 56th Mass. Infantry.  Enjoy, but read between the lines. It’s not all fun and games despite the light heartedness of the letters.

Feb. 5, 1865: Dear Sister,  I am a soldier once more. I told Reina to write and tell you that I was in the engineer corps but it was before I enlisted and I changed my mind. I am in the 56th Regt. or to be sent to it. They tell me it was badly cut up and is now in front of Petersburg so Iexpect to have some fun at last….

Feb. 11, 1865: Dear Sister, We have a hard set of boys here, there is not a day but there is several fights in the barrack. Bounties are taken away from poor foolish countrymen by a lot of New York ruffs but nobody knows who does it….

Feb. 15, 1865: Dear Sister, I am feeling all right and want to get to where it rains bullets. It is the worst place here I ever got to. It rains all the time. The other night it was 20 below and a man froze to death at his post….

Feb. 23, 1865:  Dear Sister, I got to the regiment at last and am as happy as I can be, but probably won’t say that for we expect a fight every hour. Last night we had orders to sleep with our harness on, guns by our side and with rounds of ammunition. Today the rebels are coming into out lines in large squads. They always do before a fight…

Want to read more of these letters?  “Rough Enough is available in both hardback and electronic versions on Amazon. It can also be checked out to read. Special deals are available for Amazon Prime members! Enjoy!

4 Comments on “Richard Clow’s February 1865 Letter Clips

    • Thanks for the pictures – I have the one of Alice in my family collection and now that you have identified Lucius, I’ll go back and see if I have a picture of him as well. I do have a picture of their daughter with Richard Clow – standing next to his car on a trip out to the Dakotas probably around 1920, and also a copy of her book on the Monarch Butterflies of the West Coast. I’m more than happy to share photos if you would like copies. Sincerely, Rick McBee

      On Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 7:36 PM, Rick McBee's Writings wrote:



  1. Thank you so much. There are 4 pictures of their older daughters as young children in the back of the book if that helps you identify pictures in your album. I was able to identify L & A through sending the album to a descendant . He has an old album as well, if it is possible for you to email me I can give you his address (he only does regular mail). That might help you identify other people in your album.


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