In this first letter in this series, Gideon Portman announces to his sister that he has enlisted in Colonel Wilson’s Mechanics regiment and is now in training at Camp Webb near Chicago. He is proud that he has done so and glad to hear that an acquaintance, George, has also enlisted. He reports that he is healthy and has gained a lot of weight.
Gideon hopes that his sister is in good health and closes by asking her to write. He threatens not to write any more letters to his family until they respond to his letters.
Oct 27, 61
I am now a Soldier for the union and liberty I have enlisted in the first regiment of Mechanichs[sic] Fusillers[sic] Col. I.W. Wilson, Comanding[sic]. I was at home
about one week and there [heard] that George had enlisted and was at Washington and I hope that he will do his duty for his Country and home
I want you to write to him and tell him where I am and to write to me tell him to direct to Camp Webb Chigo Illinois, care of Capt. I. Lawson
I will now comence[sic] to write to you and hope that this will find you in good health I never so healthey[sic] in my life I gained about 18 lbs in about 5 weeks We have just drawn our accounts and we calculate to march about 7 miles tomorrow I have not had any letters from home yet and I dont[sic] calculate to write any more until[sic] I get an answer from some of them no more at pressent[sic] from your