William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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Camp of the 10th Vt near Brandy Station Va. Jany 27th 1864 My Darling wife

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I have thought the matter all over, and weighed the difficulties and have come to the conclusion that now is the best time you will ever have to come out and see the Grand Army. Col Jewett and myself have been talking about it for several days and to day we agreed “it was best” and have sent up to Army Hd. Qurs. for “permission for our wives to visit the Army of the Patomac”. The “permission” will probably get back by tomorrow night and I will then forward yours to you. Capt Platt’s, Capt Salesbury, Chaplain Haines, are going to send for theirs, or have sent. Maj Chandler is home and going to bring his back with him. Lt Davis of Burlington will start for home tomorrow morning and will bring his wife back with him. We have not decided yet

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who you better come back with. Lt Hicks of Burlington is home and will be coming back in a few days. we agreed to settle which one when the “permission” is sent (probably by day after tomorrow), but I was up to Brandy Station yesterday and saw Ed Wells, and he told me Martha was arriving back with Major “Wid” and probably they would start about the 2nd of Feb. I suppose you would like it better and feel more at home with him and Martha than you would with strangers, and if you get the “papers” in time I think you better come with them. You might see the Major and see when he is going to start and what he says about it. Or perhaps Mr Parker has made up his mind to come, and you could come with him. I will write you more about it next time. You will want about 30 dollars to start with, and I can get what you will want

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to go back with, if you have not got enough, you can get it at the Bank or Shop. You spoke when I was home about Charlie coming out with you if you ever came. there is one serious dificulty about that, it is very hard to get permission for any one to get down here from Washington, unless upon very important business. And again Charlie is so liable to be sick with camp fever and it goes very hard with those that are not climated; for the same reason I should not want you to fetch my darling little Mollie although I want to see her so bad. I expect Bert Taylor is dead by this time by what Ed Wells told me. You will want to bring my trunk to pack your things in. You will want to bring as many as three dresses and them your best ones – with what under clothes you want and I expect we shall keep you all here until some time in March unless we get an order to send you away before. Johnny says put in a ball of

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woollen yarn to mend stockings with. You must make a bargain with Mother and Ella to take care of the children and I will make them both a good present next pay day if they take good care of them. Now darling you must just pack up and be ready and do not say no. Or you aint ready, or you cant leave the children or any thing else, for I want you to come and not fail for it will be the last chance you will have to see the Army, besides I am lonesome and want you. I have got such a nice Log cabin, and we will have such a grand time. Johnny has got him a little cabin just back of mine, so we shall be all alone, and can do as we please. Genl. Morris has got his sister here, and they live close by. Surgeon Child’s wife is here now, and boards in our mess The Chaplain has got a very good Log Cabin Meeting house, and we have got a Band,

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so we can have a little dance if we like on our own account, and we are making calculations to make it as pleasant as possible for you all. Martha will be about two miles from us and we can go and visit her once in a while, and my good old horse “Old Dun” is as safe to ride as old “Nig” would be, and on the whole I anticipate a good time, and never mind the expence. Our grand “3rd Corps” dance was a failure as far as I was concerned. There was three Band’s Two Major Genl. and four Brig’s and about four hundred other officers to about forty ladies I did not get the first chance to dance although I made out to get three engagements, but they all failed me when the time came. Enclosed I send you the Ticket, which we think was got up very nice. It was this failure to have a decent time there that made us come to the conclusion

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that if we went to another dance or party we would have some women there that we were acquainted with. I shall write again by day after tomorrow, and will let you know then if any new arrangement is made. I wish you was here this minute for now I have got to thinking about your coming I cannot wait. The mud has dried up some now and it is as warm and pleasant as June in Vt. What a joke it would be if Old Genl. French should refuse to give me permission for you to come – but he wont.

As everWilliam