On May 21, 1861, Daniel Boyd wrote the first of his surviving letters to his father. His brother Pressley, their friend James Alewine and Daniel are still at Camp Butler near Aiken in Barnwell District, South Carolina. They have all gotten over the recent sickness they had picked up — no doubt — from suddenly being exposed to lots of new germs in the camp. He talks of there being further calls for companies to volunteer to go to Virginia. He doesn’t know if his company (D of the 7th SC Infantry) will volunteer, but he feels it will be hard service and expresses his preference to stay in S.C.
Daniel is doing well there. Their camp is in a fine spot with good water and an abundance of rain. He has plenty to eat and says he has gained three pounds in five days. Daniel believes that they will serve out their 12 month enlistment uneventfully and that their company would be disbanded and sent home earlier. With the benefit of hindsight, we know what horrors would await them and that 12 months would barely scratch the surface. Daniel and the other boys at Camp Butler, however; underestimated the lengths their enemy would go to maintain control and taxing power over the Southern states.
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