Roswell Farnham to Mary [Farnham]
I was in hopes that I should hear from you before this time, still I hardly know
how I could, unless you wrote sooner than I asked you to. I mailed a letter to
you Friday morning telling you briefly what had happened to us up to that time.
Our Regt. remained at the soldiers retreat till noon Friday when we moved to our
present camp. We got here about two o'clk P. M, & the boys went to work
pitching their tents. They were only the small shelter tents, each large enough
to hold two men. Before they were fairly pitched it began to rain & they
passed a very uncomfortable night of it as the tents are so short that those who
sleep in them get wet either at one end or the other. But we had better luck
yesterday, for we got a supply of the A tents & the men feel pleased at the
change. I have a good sized tent to myself. Nelson Rogers sleeps with me &
takes care of me generally & particularly.
So far I have kept him pretty busy. Until this morning the officers have had to get their living as they could. Last night the Maj. & I rode down into the city & bought a mess chest & a lot of provisions so that we can now live.
The mess chest is a little longer than your big trunk & contains a stovewith an oven, Tea Kettle, Fry Pan, Tea Pot, Coffee Pot, gridiron Dripping Pan, 6 Plates, 6 Cups & Saucers, 6 Knives & forks, 6 large spoons, 6 small spoons, Tea Canister, Copper Canister, sugar bowl, bucher knife &c. &c. with various other articles, & the chest itself when spread out make a table. So you see we can take care of ourselves. Nelson & the Col's orderly cooked our breakfast & we had a good one. Now Mr. Jona Peach of the Bradford Col. is to cook for us & we expect we are on a family footing --
I am now writing in the Col's quarters as he is gone. He has a stove in his tent that he borrowed at a house near by & the tent is as warm as any house. If we stay here long I shall get me one. It has been very cold today -- a sudden change & I have taken a little cold, the first I have had since I left home. I am very well every way except this slight cold & that is mostly in my nose. I shall take a little cayenne & whiskey before going to bed & I shall be well in the morning.
We hear Regiments coming in and going out every hour almost. There are camps all around us & the hills to the east & north of us are covered with fortifications. I have not been to the capitol yet, tho' I have been past it. As soon as I get time I shall go around & see the sights.
Now I have some good news to tell you. We are brigaded with two New Jersey Regts. & are under Genl. Casey & at present are attached to the reserve corps of Genl. Casey in the defences about Washington. So we shall stay here for a while at least. If there is a prospect of our staying here long, I will send for you, still it will not be very pleasant, till you can be in camp all the time with us as I could see you but little for we are to be very busy. We shall have battalion drill four hours a day, & the Maj. & I are to have a school in which the officers are to recite in the tactics.
I am very well pleased with my situation in almost all respects. I find that I am
much better acquainted with the duties than I supposed. I feel bad when I think
of Laura. How is she now? I hope she has continued to grow better, but I almost
fear to hear from home on her acct. You must both keep up good courage & get
well & keep well.
Give my love to Laura. Remember me to Mrs. Flanders & Jane. I hope they are both there for you need them. Remeber me to Mrs. Strickland & Charlotte, Chas. Harding & all who enquire.
Did you give those papers to Mr. Baldwin & Batchelder.
If you see Mrs. Johnson or Mrs. Corliss on the back street tell them that the boys were not paid for their subsistence or board & I did not get any thing from them but will do so at the next pay day.
If Hatch makes any enquiries tell him I will write tomorrow if possible.
The boys in our Regt are well generally fourteen sick, none dangerously I believe. One man is sick in the Bradford Col. John Bartlett of Newbury, but he will get along. They are all well & enjoying themselves. They take camp life easy. Benton & Farr, Henry's mates, are doing well & will make good soldiers. I can write no more tonight.
Direct your letters
Lieut. Col. Roswell Farnham
12th Vermont R
12th Regt. Vermont Volunteers
Yours affectionatelyRoswell Farnham