Massachusetts soldier M.O. Abbott.
Camp Slough / Alexandria Va.,
letter reads in part:
”Our ranks are not church going men and care little for the gospel ordinances or precepts. the majority seem to take a growing pleasure for more open and dangerous paths of sin. There are only 3 or 4 actual drunkards but nine tenth of the whole number were in the habit of using intoxicating drink. Some say they have never been in the habit of drinking at home but they believe it necessary here for the preservation of health. I cannot take their word as proof of their previous abstinence, The plea that it is needful for health is in most cases a false one and is simply made an excuse to check the stings of conscience. I have noticed that those who drunk the most are the oftenest of the sick list. The Officers of the regiment I believe all use liquor and the privates only imitate their example. Col. Magg. told the regt intemperance and profanity must cease that neither wold be tolerated and he would severely punish those who persisted in these sinful and degrading habits. But of what avail is it while he is guilty of the same crimes the younger portion of the soldiers are more likely to become swearers than drunkards. Conversation carried on with out profanity appears to the inconsiderable and immature mind insipid. I am happy to inform you that there is a bright side to this gloomy picture. A few faithful ones who stand firm in the strength of God. Since we came to Alexandria a prayer meeting has been held in the camp?'”
Source: eBay, June 2007
Might [very likely] be Moses B. Abbott of the 18th Mass.