We have got as good a set of boys is our Company

In this second letter, Gideon writes to his sister Harriet Portman Lewis and lists all the local men who are in camp with him. He also reports that Chester Beebe has married one of their sisters, as if she is unaware of that. In fact, Harriet lived in Dallas, Michigan in Clinton Township so it is possible she was unable to attend the wedding or that the marriage was hastily arranged.

The refusal of an acquaintance named Leslie Salisbury to enlist upsets him. He says that Salisbury is a coward and unpatriotic. He closes by sending his greetings to his friends.

In the note that Chester adds to this letter, he starts by saying that Harriet probably knows that he has married her sister. Jokingly, he says that she can’t do anything about it. He then tells her that he has enlisted in the same unit with Gideon.

He also writes that they didn’t get supper the night before and that breakfast was late that morning. He invites her to send any “lazy fellows” down to Chicago and they can count on a good breakfast, too.



Cottage Grove Nov  10 ‘61                              


 Sister  it is with pleasure that I received your letter and I thought I would answer it  I am well and so is the rest of the boys  I will give you a list of their names there is E. Darling. W. Beebe.  D.A. Beebe.   E.D. Beebe.   John Whaley.    Mc.T. Corwin.  D. Corwin a Cet Beebe  Cht[sic] is our brotherinlaw  they was married[sic] Oct th12. I was at home on furlough  Grandmother is again to stay to our house this winter  she is there now  I am glad to know where to write George   I shall write to him to day and will tell him we moved to Camp Douglas  So you must direct your letters here. I saw Colen[sic] James A. Maligan yesterday he was here in Camp  I have to work on the barucks[sic] one week  I dont[sic] know whether I told you or not what reg. I belonged to or not  it is the first regiment of Mechanicks[sic] Fusillers[sic]  M. S. Coles Wilson Commander.  We have got as good a set of boys is our Company as you ever seen  I want you to tell Leslie that I think he is a coward and no patreotism[sic] about him  else he would enlist in the cause of his Country   give my love to all enquiring friends from your affectionate


                                                                                                G E Portman



Illustration on envelope for the letter of November 10, 1861


A second letter is written on the same stationary; it is from Chester Beebe to Harriet Lewis.

Well Harriet Lewis how do you get along anyhow? Suppose you know that you are my sister and you cant[sic] get around it unless you can get a Bill from the family and I don’t[sic] want you should as I know of   I have Enlisted in the 1 US States fusilers[sic] Chicago Illinois.  I am well as Common and hope you enjoy the Same if there is any lazy fellows around there send them down here and we will give them a loaf of Bakers Bread and a Cup of Coffee pepper and salt  We did not have any supper last night But it was Carelessness and we did not get our Breakfast this Morning untill[sic] about 10 o clock  I have just got Back from Church  we had very Good meeting  we had some Cannon here last night that would Shoot  1 in to [two]Seconds  if you dont[sic] Believe it Come and See


                Direct to Chester Beebe
                Col I. W. Wilsons

Mechanic & Fusiliers Co.
Capt Lewison
Camp Douglas                  


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