Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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Camp Butler, Newport News, VaFriday, Aug. 2d. 1861My Dear Wife:

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You are probably expecting that we start for home this morning. I wish it were so, but we do not go so probably before Monday. The boys grumble terribly about it. They cannot see the use of our staying as the transports are already at the fort.

I write you on a sheet giving a picture of the old Fort. It is quite exact and you can get some idea of the fort from it. I have a larger one which gives you a fine view of the place. You can easily trace the fortress by its walls and the moat around it. The Hygeia hotel is the building with a piazza in front, and is where we were encamped for a couple of weeks. The road and bridge to the left lead to Hampton. The view is taken looking towards the east and the line of water in

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right hand corner is the mouth of the bay. When I get home with the large picture I can show you all the points of interest.

The boys feel terribly because they are not going home this morning and they will undoubtedly write home some sorrowful letters. We are kept here I suppose because the other regiments are in such a condition that they are not safe. The First New York Regt. were nearly all drunk Tuesday and Wednesday - and Tuesday night one of their captains shot a private for disorderly conduct. A larger number of the men got into rows and got their head broke, and on the whole the Regt. was not worth as much for service as one sober company would be. Not one of the regiments here has a colonel except ours, and some of them have not even a Lieut. Col. Some have resigned and others are off on a furlough. Col. Phelps will not be permitted to go

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home with us. They will keep him here till the very last moment & will not discharge him till Aug. 9th.

I had a letter from Laura, a short one. She said she was afraid I should not get the letter. I dont expect another letter from you while I am here, tho' I should like to hear while in Brattleboro.

I will try and write a few lines every day so that you can know what is happening.

It is now nearly time for the boat to leave & I must close. Give my best respects to all who enquire & tell them that we shall be at home as soon as we can get there.

I have been very busy for a day or two & have had but little time to write. I can send a few lines each day.

Your affectionate husbandRoswell Farnham