Roswell Farnham to Laura
Your letter written June 5th. was received last night - the shortest time in which I have received a letter from home since we left Wolf Run Shoals.
I am always glad to hear from you & always intend to answer your letters & supposed that I had done so. As to news I have not much to write, for there is nothing new going on here. I suppose you would find very much that is interesting, but every thing is getting stale to us. Camp life is about the same from day to day - The same amount of discomfort, which at first was very well for its novelty, is getting to be a little boreus. Fly bites, mosquito bites, flea bites, spider bites, bug bites & wood ticks are not very poetical & are certainly for me the cause of a great deal of discomfort. My left hand is all swollen with fly bites & itches very uncomfortably.
We have the comfort of fresh air it is true
in our tents, but every breeze is loaded with dirt so that our clothes, blankets, every thing is covered with dust. If we shut our tents the flies & mosquitos congregate therein so that we cant live. To be sure if we dont like our tents we can ride out, but then a fellow must always carry his pistols, for he dont know what bush may conceal some bushwacker, laying in wait to commit cold blooded murder. If one's horse shies, his hand very naturally & quite instinctively feels for his holsters, not knowing what may be "up". You see amid all the comforts of camp there are some unpleasant things.
We have a good "mess", still it is not always perfect. Our table is a door that we brought along from Bristoe Station. It is better than eating off the mess chest, which we use as a table when we can get no other. We set the chest on stakes driven in the ground & open the cover & have quite a good sized table, thus
There is a board that fills the top of the chest - but the whole is getting to be rather greasy. The door is larger, but has its disadvantages, as for instance if one's plate is not set just right it tips down or a cup tips over - but it is painted & is not very dirty.
When Mr. Peach can get into Washn. occasionally we live pretty well, but sometimes his pass is not right & then for a while we have salt pork & hard bread. Good butter is getting to be very scarce. What we use is rather strong & our milk tastes of garlic, when we get any.
Notwithstanding all these little discomforts we really enjoy ourselves very much. We are in such good health that these little matters do not trouble us materially.
There is a good deal of fear felt in Washn. in regard to some unknown move of Genl - Lee's army. They have been very much excited & rumors are frequent that we are in trouble. You must not believe every newspaper story that you hear, especially if it says - "report says" or "rumor says" - so & so. In Alexandria they are still more excited without any cause.
It is possible that some move may be made by the Rebels in this direction, but I hardly expect it. These little raids upon R. R. trains &c. are made by bodies of geurillas that cannot be caught as they are citizens - farmers by day & robbers & murders by night.
I am still employed upon the Court of inquiry into the conduct of Lieut.
who had command of the guard on the train that was burned the other day - May 30th.
We shall probably get thro' tomorrow - thro' the examination.
I shall have to spend forty eight hours on the picket line towards the close of the week. The line is still larger than it was so that we shall have to ride nearly forty miles a day to get round. We have to pass over the line once by night.
Mary has written me all about your being able to hear so well. I am glad to hear it. You must be sure to come to Brattleboro. Both of you get all ready to come early in July & then I will telegraph when to come - either after we get to New Haven or Brattleboro. We shall not stay at B--long.
The paymaster is here today & I shall send some money to Mary by express, I think, so she may be on the look out.
Give my love to Aunt Mary & tell her I shall be glad to see her at the depot or any where. Remember me to all who enquire. Write soon.
Your affectionate brotherRos -
P. S. I have concluded to send the money to Geo. C. Chamberlin & he will hand it to Mary ($350.) She can put it in the Bank.