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Letter (#2) from Sgt. Manuel B. DeSilva, Co. G, 16th OVI (90-day)
Camp Jackson, Columbus, Ohio - May 13, 1861
to the Holmes County Farmer newspaper at Millersburg, Ohio
Published May 16, 1861
Web Author's Notes:
This is a letter from Sgt. Manuel B. DeSilva of Company G, written to an editor of the Holmes County Farmer newspaper in Millersburg, Ohio. DeSilva wrote the letter while he and the 16th Ohio were at Camp Jackson in Columbus, Ohio, being trained and outfitted for the war.

The McNulty Guards was the nickname taken by Company G of the 90-day 16th OVI, named after its elected captain James McNulty.

The letter was transcribed by long time website contributor John Pierson, a likely descendant of 16th Ohio soldier Pvt. Enos Pierson, Company C.

newspaper article

Head Quarters of McNulty Guards.

COLUMBUS, May 13th, 1861

FRIEND ESTILL: I am pleased to say that after five days of the most miserable rainy weather and muddy ground, we are now luxurating in a beautiful spring day. The mud and filth on the camp ground is fast drying up. In course of two or three days the grounds will be all that could be asked for. We are living high, now--that is in the sleeping department--we have just got a load of straw to bed us down with. Straw is in great demand. The boys steal it when they get a chance. It looks rather odd to see a wagon load of straw pass through camp, guarded by six soldiers. The beautiful weather of the past two days has made our men feel gay. They are engaged in all kinds of fun, between times they have a circus with exciting performances, usually concluding with a cat fight by Happy Jack. Occasionally we have a grand sparring match.

Friday was the first time we drilled since we have been here. We will now go to work regulary. We drill by Hardee's Tactics.


I am sorry to say that three of our men have deserted since we came into camp. These men after living in Millersburgh, on the patriotic generosity of the citizens, and had their fair paid to Columbus, deserted their country's cause. Let them be branded in the memory of posterity as the meanest of deserters. Their names are:
Floyd Mentray, Calvin Stuban and P. O. Schamp.

We have no idea of when we will leave here, or where we will go to. All the regiments, thus far, have gone to Camp Dennison, but our Colonel and his friends are endeavoring to have us camped on the Ohio River. Our men are anxious to go to Western Verginia, but there is no hope of that until we are sworn into the United States service.

Enclosed you will find our muster roll.

Yours, Truly,

M. B. DES.

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