William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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Camp Grover Offutts X Roads Md. Sunday eve ten oclock [Dec. 14, 1862] My Darling one

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I have just got around to write you a few lines to go by the morning mail. I have been in the saddle most all day as “officer of the day”. I do not know how it happens, but most every Sunday I am detailed “officer of the day”. I hope it will change, for I like to have a quiet and peaceful day for Sabbath, a day of rest. We have just got the news this evening of a big battle at Fredericksburgh. You will get all the particulars in the papers before we shall - so far we hear our side is successful, and the boys have been giving doing some big cheering. I hope it may prove true, for every big battle brings us so much nearer the end, and the time when those that are left can see their loved ones once more in peace and happiness.

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I believe no one longs for that day more than your husband, but I want it all settled so I can go in peace. Your kind long letter of the 7th and 9th came by last mail - glad to hear you were better – that the children were well and growing so fat. I guess I shall know them. I am also glad to hear the “photos” got through all right; and that you were so much pleased with them. You make me proud praising it up so, and such a “large demand” for them. I thought there was one for “Nettie” Atherton. I certainly intended to send her one. tell her I am going to get some more the next time I go to Washington, and she shall have one. also “Jemmie” Griswold must have one for it is very necessary that she should have a “complete sett of all celebrated military men”. I have written a good long letter to Eli, before I recd. your admonition. I was waiting to hear from him. I should have sent him

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a “Shadow” only I did not suppose he was in Waterbury. “What a solemn Thanksgiving you must have had, with the “two vacant chairs”. Oh! it is awful to think of, and I cannot think of it yet with calmness, and never shall until I can see you and talk it all over. surely God’s ways are past finding out for I cannot see why he should take her from us, but perhaps we loved her too well. I hope Sarah will write me. she is a dear good girl, and I like all of Katies friend, now she is gone. There is no news here now all goes on as usual. That will be just about the right time for you to come “abot the 15th Jan. ¬ but I believe yet that at Christmas or New Years I shall get leave of absence, and save you such a long hard journey. Corp Marshall is better, doing well. the Orderly Sergt. Abbott is very dangerously sick with Fever. All the rest are well. it is late to night so I will close and write again in the middle of the week. a good long letter if I am not busy, to pay for this short one.

“As ever William”