This letter was written by Oliver M. Parker (1843-1864) of Co. I, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). Eighteen year-old Oliver enlisted on 13 August 1861 at Chambersburg, Ohio. He was taken prisoner at Missionary Ridge on 25 November 1863 and died on 30 September 1864 at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
Oliver was the son of Sherman M. Parker (1815-1863) and Rachel Moorehouse (1823-1891) of Gallia county, Ohio. He wrote the letter to his brother, Sherman Miner Parker (1842-1909)
Nicholas county, Western Va.
November 26, 1861
O once more take the opportunity to inform you that I’m still on top of [the] sod, enjoying good health and all the comforts of a soldier’s life. We have the best quarters in Western Virginia and our company has not lost but one man since we have been in the service which is upwards of two months. We have several sick with the camp fever. The complaint is not dangerous. Our surgeon understands it so well that he can knock it in the head in 24 hours. James Walter [of Co. B] is dead. He died about three weeks ago.
We have the best guns now in the service and have the best Colonel [George Crook] ever was and he has got the best company now in the service.
I would like to have you write who is going to teach school in our district this winter. I would just make a guess—Samuel Walter, or in other words, Ed Hayes. If he does, I hope he will do it up in a rag.
Mr. [Cornelius V.] Bellows from Albany is in this regiment, He is sergeant in a company [Co. C] here. I never knew he was here till yesterday. He was on guard with one of our boys and asked if any of our boys came from Porter and he told him that Oliver Parker came from there. He then sent down for me to come up. I then went up and found him as friendly as a brother. We had a long chat about the spiritual rapping and about him and I talking of going out West. He says that if ever he gets through this war, he has to go right along out there. I don’t know anything else at present.
Your brother, — Oliver M. Parker
Write soon and let me know whether you get my letters or not. — Oliver M. Parker