Camp Life

The call for Union troops set the wheels in motion in Indiana. From the capital to the farthest rural community, Hoosiers responded. A young white man was likely to go with his peers to enlist in the same regiment. A young black man could not immediately enlist in his home state; but later in the war, he could enlist in New England or in the 28th United States Colored Troops', a Federal Regiment from Indiana.

The letter-writing flurry began as soon as the recruits marched off to camp. Men in Indiana traveled various distances to the rendezvous sites, some close enough for relatives to visit them. But as soon as the soldiers were in camps-to train for battle, or in the midst of battle-they managed to find time to write.

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, the letters all reflected the common denominator of military training - at the same time, both boring and excruciatingly demanding.