Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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12th. Regt. Vt. Vol. Militia -Wolf Run Shoals VaMay 1st. 1863My Dear Wife:

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Your letter of Apr. 28th. came tonight. I rec'd one last night & replied to it, so that you will get two in succession. I am sorry that you have such a cold. It is all because you went of from camp. Had you remained here your health would have been as good as mine is. I am looking very fat and hearty. I have rode over the picket line today and feel somewhat tired tonight. I have ridden at least twenty miles on "white face", today. Yesterday I rode at least as far. The day has been very warm & the sun bright. It has been rather warmer than May Day in Vermont, tho' vegetation does not seem to be more forward. I wish you could have been with me a part of the way. You would have enjoyed it, tho' perhaps when I tell you that I have seen five good sized snakes today & killed two of them you will think you are glad you are not here. None of them were poisonous.

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I like your dress very much indeed. I think it will become your complexion. I want to see you look pretty when I get home. If you are going home I hope you have written to Laura so that she may expect you. If you go home I hope I shall hear from you often.

Nelson is quite sick. He lays here this evening with a mustard paste on his back & Hall has just gone into Peach's to get something for him to take a powder in. I hope he is not going to be sick for it look a little as tho' were to move soon. Col. Blunt has been ordered to report to Centreville & has gone there since 4 o'clk altho' he is not well & has also been to Union Mills before today. It is reported that Lee is between us & Hooker. It is also reported that Hooker has driven the rebels & is following them up pretty closely. Another report is that Hooker is defeated. So in the absence of Col. Blunt we are waiting to hear what will come up.

You talk of my going into business in some city & in the same letter say you dont want to live in a city. I am sure I dont want to live in a city any more than you do.

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I think we can take altogether more comfort in the country than in the city. If I could get a good chance however I should accept it. Fellows they say is making money rapidly. If I had gone off from home - had been disappointed as he was I might perhaps be doing something - I was too happy in my love affairs. It is disappointment and despair that makes men work hard. Ought we not to be content with our happy lot & not envy the struggling, avaricious crowd of the city? I wish we were rich for your sake, for you seem to feel it more than I do. I suppose the Johnsons would respect us more if we had more money.

Mrs. Stearns will start for home next week. She has been very comfortable here for the past three weeks - has cooked in her own tent. Wallace will also leave Washington for home next week. He is able to be out doors - Capt. Chamberlin has returned - I believe I wrote you so yesterday.

S. S. Leonard of Co. H. died in Alexa. yesterday I think. Co. H. has lost more men than any other Co. in the Regt.

The paymaster was here last Monday & the boys all feel better than they did.

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The tattoo is just beating & I will add but a few lines to this letter. Write often & let me know how you get along. Write about your health. I want you to get fat before I get home & well.

I have no news to write & a great many things that I would like to write you would be offended if I did write. So I cannot say all that I would like to. If I cannot write I can keep up "a devil of a thinking."

Hall is here taking off Rogers' mustard paste. It got too hot for him. I hope he will be better in the morning.

Give my regards to Ben & Ruth & if we do not move I will write to them.

Remember me also to Mr. & Mrs. Shaw & Ella & the children - also to Mary Jane the "pretty cousin" - Uncle Horace & wife. By the way Nelson saw Horace in Washington day before yesterday. His regt. is doing patrol duty there. He is a Corporal - & is well.

Your affectionate husbandRos.

P. S. I open my letter to say that Col Blunt has returned & we are ordered to move tomorrow morning at 8 o'clk to go out on the R. R. to Catlett's Station & Warrenton Junction. I am glad we are going to move.

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I will take a scrap of paper to write a few lines. We are going out to guard the R. R. A portion of the 15th. is at Bristo Station & we go out beyond them. Stoneman's Cavalry are still in that vicinity & we shall have company enough. I have got tired of staying here & think the change will do us good. I am now glad you are gone as the trouble of your getting out of camp is over & I have no one to look after but myself. You must not be alarmed. I shall write you as often as I can & shall want to hear from you the more. Direct as usual. We shall send into Washington for our mail as heretofore. I am afraid that some of the folks have been talking "copperheadism" to you by the way you write about my being a target for government &c.

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Dont write any such stuff again, for if any of the rebels should get hold of your letters I want them to think that you are ready to sacrifice anything to put down the rebellion.

Enclosed I send you Lufkin's five dollars. He paid me as soon as he was paid off. If you go home as soon as you talk of, you can get along without much more money. If you want any write me. I dont want you to get into debt to any body. If I am not paid you may have to go to Blodgett. Get what you want of him & it will be all right. Write me everything.

Yours in haste at 11-1/2 o'clk P. M.
From your affectionate husband

Acknowledge the receipt of the $5.00