Letter of Sidney B. Chase to Joseph R. Clark and Emily Augusta Chase Clark

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    Off Charleston, Jan 4, 1863.

        Dear Brother and Sister,

            I received your letter of the 21st last night and right glad I was too. I had been waiting some time to receive one from you as I thought that I had written since I had received one from you. I think that perhaps that there may be some on the way as I get those that are written last first sometime and that must be the way this time. I received a letter from Rodney1 a few(?) days ago and from home about a week ago. The(?) one that I got from from Rodney I have answered and the one from home I have yet to answer which will take most of my time today. There is nothing new to write now that is to me and I have written to you all that there is going because it is nearly the same all the time. We lay here in front of Fort Sumpter about [page 2] 8 or 10 miles frome (sic) it. We can see the fort very plain. Some times on a clear day we can see the sentry on top of the walls. We can also see Fort Moultrie and the Batteries along shore. Some days we can see them firing and can see the shots strike on the water. We went down to Port Royal2 a little while ago for Coal + Provisions and stayed a week and took in Provisions for about 4 months and 290 tons of Coal which which(sic) will last about the same time. It took about 3 days to take in coal and that is handling coal pretty fast I think.. I am getting so that I like lime(?) better than I did but not well enough to try it again. I do the best I can and get along very well most of the time but some times I get a little vexed but it dont do any good. I am glad that Rodney is doing so well as I think it will be a great help to him in more ways than one. And Joe3 too and I hope that they may both of them succeed to their satisfaction and to the satisfaction of the people. [page 3]

I hope you will enjoy your rides well and I should like to come and take ones with you but I cannot do it this winter but perhaps I may do so by the time that another winter comes.

Last night we had a little excitement about a schooner that came out from(?) some of the forts along the coast. We went up on one side of her and another boat on the other side. We boarded it first but the other one claimed it and took it to the Flag Ship. She was loaded with turpentine and pitch I don't know whether she is worth much as not(?) but it will be something. Well I should like to be at home today first rate(?) and see the folks and get a good dinner and see the folks. Carrie4 and Rodney both wrote me that Grandmother5 was very feeble. I am sorry but she is getting old and it is not to be expected that she can live always but she may live a good while yet. Glad that that (sic) Father + [page 4] Mother6 are so well and I hope that they may remain so.

Well I have had to knock off to get my dinner and get up anchor and come up to the flag ship where we now are but I suppose we will go back to our old station before dark. We come up here nearly every day and stay a few hours and then go back.

Well I have got about out of argument and it is near supper time and there is no time after that. Remember me to Mr. Clarks folks7 if you please.

Please write to me again and I will try [to] answer it provided I get it.

From your aff. Brother

S. B. Chase.

1Sidney's brother

2Probably Port Royal, Jamaica

3Joseph R. Clark?

4Sidney's sister Caroline Chase

5Either Mary Sawyer Willard, born 1781, or Sarah Hanson Chase

6Otis Chase and Phebe Willard Chase

7Reed Paige Clark and Elizabeth Perkins

The background image shows the first and fourth pages of the letter, which was written with a hard pencil on a single piece of paper (the second and third pages being on the reverse).   This image is approximately representative of the actual size and contrast of the original, but the sharpness has been reduced somewhat.  The transcription was made with the help of an image with higher resolution and enhanced contrast; click to view a similar enhanced image but without magnification.

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Last revised December 16, 2003