Calvin Rollen of the 84th Pennsylvania Infantry writes to his girlfriend.

Camp 84th Regiment Penn Vol’s,
Petersburg, VA.

June 29th, 1864,

…Smoking is a practice that most every soldier participates in and I am sorry to say that I ben among the many that use tobacco in that way. Although I don’t use it to a great extent I find it affords me a great deal of pleasure…

I never in my life drank any intoxicating liquors, only when used in medicine…Sometimes I see officers going into battle very drunk cursing them bad…you folks can’t be aware of the wickedness in the army. Sometimes I am afraid of God sending some plague down on our army for its wickedness…

General Grant object to cuts off all communication with the Gulf States before he attempts to take Richmond. We have cut off all the roads but are and no doubt will accomplish the distruction of it before long. Gen Grant is a very obstinate man and will preserve till the end…


The 84th Pennsylvania Infantry saw action in some of the war’s most pivotal battles including Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Petersburg.