Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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Camp of 12th. Vermont V. M.Union Mills, Va.June 13th. 1863.My Dear Wife:

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Your letter of June 7th. & 8th. remains unanswered. I have a few moments this morning to write & will improve them. A party is going out to Bull Run Battle Field & I think of going with them. Col. Randall is here, or at Head Quarters and also Dr. Nichols. I have not seen either of them. They are going out with us when the Genl. gets ready. I wish you was here to go too.

Do you know the boys say that the Fourth of July comes in three weeks from today! Well I suppose you are glad enough. So am I, on many accounts, still on some accounts I am sorry. If it was not for you & Laura I should prefer to remain in the service & should try to get another chance. As it is I probably shall not come out again.

I suppose Andross and Stearns have got home before this and their friends are glad to see them. Still if I were in their places I

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should dislike very much to go home now. Blakely is probably gone before now. He is Secretary of State and it is quite an important place much more so than I should suppose him capable of filling - It is a place of honor and trust. Whether he gets $1600 a year or not I dont know. I presume he gets good pay & perhaps has a chance to make something besides. His hold upon the office is rather precarious, however, & will not last long probably.

We have no news here at present.

I rode out last night & called at a Mr. Buckley's off the main road. He has a beautiful place. Peaches & cherries are going to be very abundant this year. The family is secesh. His daughter is pretty & thinks she is smart. There are quite a number of pleasant families about here & all are secesh with one exception.

I had a letter from Ben the other day, which I answered yesterday. I wrote him from Warrenton Junction & he had written me once since tho' I had not got his letter - He is well & Ruth. I wrote him a good long letter.

In regard to taking the note which

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Henry has against your Grandfather you had better wait until I come home & then I will see about it.

9 O'clk in the Evening - We have been to Bull Run Battlefield today & got back. We had a great time. I will try & give you a list of those who went with us as you know many of them - viz. Col. Randall & boy, Dr. Nichols, Col. Blunt, Maj. Kingsly, Adjt. Vaughan - Capt. Ormsbee, Capt. Paul, Lt. Cloyse, Dr. Ketchum - Corp. Eastman, Nelson, Mr. Peach, Hart, Blanchard, Adjt. Peabody of the 16th., a Capt. of the 16th. Hospital Steward Hurd of the 12th. Lt. Benedict, Lt. Prentiss, & two or three orderlies - I believe that is all.

Col. Randall, who was at the first Bull Run Battle acted as guide. He took a roundabout way, so that we had a long hard ride. We started from here at 10-1/2 o'clk & returned at five having ridden fast all the time. Col. Randall had to leave his horse. He gave out. It was one he borrowed. I have not time tonight to write all that we saw. Since we came back we have had a drill of an hour & I am Field Officer of the day tomorrow so that I want to get to bed in good season.

When I got home I found a good letter from you. You dont know how much good such letters do me, - how much they make me love you & how great an influence affectionate letters from you have

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in keeping me as I ought to be. I am sure I never would do the first thing to hurt your feelings if I always felt as kindly towards you as I do when I get a real kind letter. You speak of the use of liquor & fear that that has a bad influence & say that if I dont use more than I did when you were with me that you dont think I shall be injured. Well, my dear, I dont use as much as I did then. I think sometimes that I try to do about right, & then again I think a thousand things that I ought not to. - Since the ride Dr. Nichols has been in here & says we were very foolish to let our wives go home when we did. I think so, too, certainly.

I will try & change pictures with as many as I can. I sent some of my pictures into Washington in my trunk by mistake & so have none to spare to send home to you. But I hope you can wait three weeks - Does it really seem as tho' the time was so short, & when you receive this, it will be still less, - that I shall clasp my beloved wife once more in my arms. I dont know yet how we are going to Brattleboro: or whether we are to be in tents or barracks. I think we had better stop at the public house. We shall be there but a day or two & that will be the centre of business, & everybody will be there. I think it will be pleasanter. We shall be in Brattleboro about the first of July. So make arrangements accordingly. I will try & write tomorrow afternoon.

From your affectionate husbandRoswell Farnham

Love to Laura & all who enquire - Tell her to get ready to come to Brattleboro. R.