William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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Head Quarters 10th VtCamp on the Rappahannock Aug 5th 1863My Darling wife

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Yours of the 31st came this moment and I hasten to answer at once. I think it was a shame for the Surgeon to pass Charlie, for he certainly is not fit for a soldier according to regulations, but after all there is no use in all hands giving up the ghost for three hundred dollars, but consider that so much is given for the good of the cause, and be thankful as Eli says "that it is as well with us as it is. Father ought not to borrow trouble about the money for all I have he is perfectly welcome to use as long as it will do him any good and certainly he and mother never kneed fear coming to want while you and I live, but he is not a poor man yet by any means, and he better keep cool and in good humor, and if he is bound to

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sell the "farm", to the first one that wants to buy it, if you have got money enough, what say? You buy it! And hire him to carry it on for you. I think he takes it alltogether to had for it is only one of the little crosses that happen in a life time, and a man ought to pay something for living under so good a government. still I am aware that it must seem hard to an honorable man like him, to be obliged to pay three hundred dollars so unjustly, but "what can’t be cured, must be endured". Iif he could go over some of the splendid big farms in Maryland and Penn. and see what a wreck this cruel war has made of them, he would think endeed that his troubles are light compared with theirs. Let me just draw a picture, ( and I have seen hundreds of them) we will suppose it is Sept. and Father has his Hay all in the Barn, his corn all cut and stooked, his potatoes all undug in the field, his oats in the Barn, his Horses sheep, cattle & Hogs are in the pasture,

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when along comes a Genl, with Ten thousand soldiers about the middle of some pleasant afternoon, and concludes that is a very good "camping ground" out by the bridge, and back of the Barn, down on the meadow and up on the side hill. The Cavalry think the orchard is the best place for them, so in they go. The Genl. stops at the House and says "get me up a good supper and breakfast for myself and staff and I will pay you for it", hands off his "big boots" lounges into the parlor and makes himself at home generally, everything in the House is turned topsey turvey. at day- light in the morning they are all gone, and what do we find left? No Hay, no oats, no corn, no potatoes, no apples, not a rail or board on the farm, apple trees all knawed and barked up by the horses, his meadow drove full of stakes, with big waggon ruts in all directions over it, in fact his farm is a wreck and not so much as a poor scrap of paper to show for it, and ten to ne the Genl. went off and forgot

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to pay for his supper and breakfast, in the hurry of mooving in the morning. This is no fancy sketch, for hundreds of such cases can be seen to day in Md. & Penn. While this state (Va.) is all a desert. This is war down here. then let Father take courage and thank his lucky stars that he lives in Vt, and get out of all this misery by paying a paltry three hundred dollars Come to read my "picture" over I find I left out all the "live stock" which is the first thing after securing a pile of rails that a soldier pitches for. After Col Jewett gets back; if we remain here I am going to try my best to get a leave of absence for twenty days and go and cheer you up, for I plainly see you are all getting the blues while really none of you ought to have the blues but poor me. I have sent an ambulance down to "Bealton Station" this afternoon to bring up the Paymaster and as soon as he "pays off" I will send you all he pays me this time for I shall have enough in my pocket for my wants here and when you get it "buy the farm" and agree to take care of Father, Mother, and all as long as they live, ha! ha !! "wont that be grand". I have got a check that I cashed for one of the boys the other day to accomodate him, which I will send in this letter and, you can give him this to bind the bargain!! Finally all keep up good courage, and as the old scotchman said "take it easy mon! take it easy", and remember that "every cloud has it silver lining". will write again soon.

As EverWilliam