Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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Camp Butler, Newport News, Va.Thursday, June 13th, 1861My Dear Wife:

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I closed very hastily a rather long and painful letter to you day before yesterday, just as the boat was going out. I believe I told you that you might, or Laura, send a copy to Mr. McIndoe for publication. I intended to mark some places that I did not want published as it might involve me in trouble. The sentence where I speak of having some intimation of what was going on before the captains should not be printed. It may be necessary to omit two or three sentences or change some but I believe not. McIndoe, she must copy a part of the first page and send it to him with strict directions to make the change at any rate, as it may cost me my situation if the paper should get out here. I have seen but one "Aurora" since I have been here; where are they? When Laura writes to Mr. M., I wish she would ask him if he cannot afford to send me a copy of the Aurora and one at home. You all say when you write that you presume somebody else has written all the news. I wish every body that writes, you and Laura especially, would fill their letters with facts. Tell us every thing that occurs of the slightest im-

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portance. Dont write rumors and stories but facts.

I have been very busy or I should have written oftener. I commences this letter this forenoon but the boat has just come in and I must hurry to finish it.

The men are getting over the fatigue of the battle on Monday. We had a terrible time. No one can realize what we suffered. We started from home with a few crackers as our only lunch, and that was all we had until a couple of mule carts met us about three miles from camp loaded with provisions. Those in camp had heard the firing and had been in a state of the utmost anxiety as they could hear the cannonading very distinctly for a space of two hours and a half or three hours. Col. Phelps showed the greatest anxiety, and had a sort of premonition of the result. There are all sorts of rumors afloat. One is that the carts carrying the wounded were fired into by the enemy, another, that a portion of our troops were carried harassed by cavalry clear up to Fort Monroe; another, that when we were firing so rapidly, just before we ceased, the rebels three open a sally port in the rear and run for the woods.

I have just received your good letter written Sunday and you dont know with how much anxiety I watch every mail. You must not not take for truth all the

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jokes that are written. I have no notion of taking home a negro and you should have known better than to swallow Dan's stories.

I try to live as well as I can, but war is no place to cultivate christian graces.

I have also rec'd a letter from Ruggles but have not yet read it.

Tell Laura that I am very thankful for her letters and like to hear from her often but she said in one of hers that she was satisfied not to get any letters for herself. I am so busy that I cannot write oftener. You seem to forget that I have any thing to do.

I have written to Cy where I was once, and you need not send him any money or pay out any money for any body, till I get back.

Write me all particulars about yourself and Laura, Zeke & Jane. I dont say much about home you think. My dear, you can never realize the labor of a soldier's life. You need not be worried by any rumors about my staying longer than our time for I shall not.

The battle the other day was commanded by a Gen. Pierce of Mass, who will be court martialed. Col. Washburn will probably go home as he has got himself into some trouble.

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Why did not our friends send their stuff by the way of New York instead of by way of Boston. We shall not get it till the end of the campaign. We cannot learn that it has left Boston yet.

Another of our man is dead, George Lougee, from Vershire, I believe. He died at Ft. Monroe and Lieut. Peckett is going down this afternoon to attend to his funeral.

My love to all. I will write as often as I can. Dont fear that I am careless. I think a little whiskey occasionally, and so does Lieut. Peckett, but neither of us drink enough to do any hurt.

Tell Charlie Harding that I am always glad to hear form him, and that I wish he would write at least once a week whether he hears from me or not.

Yours affectionatelyRoswell Farnham