William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry
I am at the Hospital yet, but my hand is doing nicely again and I think I will be
so I can take command of the “gallant tenth” again in about a couple of days
more. Our Corps is having a few days rest now and it will do them much good for
they were all tired out. For some reason best known at Army head quarters the
whole army are holding on just where we are, not trying to advance – but we hear
big rumors about what the Cavalry and Gun boats are going to do. I think you
will hear soon of our Cavalry being some ways to the South and and
West of Richmond. We have about given up the idea of going into Richmond by the
4th of July, and think if we get there by the first
of Sept. we shall do well. Our men have fought most desperatly since we crossed the Rapid Ann but we have found that the Rebs. can fight just as hard as we can. Still the Army has the utmost confidence in Grant and Meade and will fight as long as they will lead. The loss of their Railway communications must tell severely soon on the Army in front of us for they must have a very large Army to feed, besides all the citizens that have flocked into Richmond and Petersburgh. We have not found one house in twenty five occupied on our line of march down here and most of them look as if the owners had left them in “something of a hurry”. We are very strongly fortified and if the Johnnies should take it into their head some day to attack us, I think they would find it out to their sorrow.
Oh! my darling wife you do not know how I have longed to see you and the little Pets since I have been laying around the Hospital doing nothing but nurse my finger and think of you, and I have wanted to go home and make you a visit and it was real mean that they did not let me go, and I believe I should have gone if Dr Child had tried half as hard to have me go as he did to keep me from going, but I think he will get his pay for it some time. Lt Col Chandler has got every body down on him while he has been in command, and I am glad of it for I wanted them to know just what kind of a man he was. Major Dillingham was mustered in yesterday and to day is Division officer of the day. He will make a fine little Major and is a favorite with every body. There has been several mails in and I have received no letters. You ask
how “Cub” and old Dun get along. I am sorry to have to write you that my little pet cub had to be shot two days ago. He caught the Glanders from some old Horse that came around, and I had to kill him – to bad wont it? Johnnie almost cried and said he guessed you would feel bad when you heard of it. Lt Thompson has nearly got over his wound All the other boys are well – no news This is the first letter I have attempted to write with a pen since I was wounded and it goes rather awkward yet – you just try it writing with the pen resting over the finger next the little one and you will see how I have done this. My hand looks very odd to me yet, but I suppose I shall get used to it after a while. Genl. Ricketts told me a few days ago that “I should be proud of that hand after the war is over”. That was true – I should be proud of it then, but mostly because the war is over and I can return to my home and pets and live with them in peace and happiness. God hasten the day.
As ever William