Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

Primary tabs

Page: of 3
Download: PDF (11.18 MiB)
Camp Butler, Newport News, Va.Wednesday, July 3rd, 1861My dear wife:

Page 1

When I wrote Laura I promised to write you the next day, but I commenced a long letter to McIndoe which I did not finish till this morning. Between that and my negligence I have not commenced one to you till today. If I had written it might not have made much difference as the boats have been rather irregular, and the mails are dependent upon them. What makes it still worse for us is that the Cataline was burned last night and we have lost one mail boat. We have not yet learned how she took fire but it is said to be by accident. We saw a light in the direction of the fort last evening but had no idea what the trouble was. There are now three boats lying at the wharf but none of them brought the mail and we shall probably get none today. We feel such a deprivation a good deal, for each one does not get a letter, some of the others do and if there is any news of general interest we all get it.

My letter to McIndoe, which will be published next week contains the same account I sent Laura and some of the incidents of the next three days. I believe when I closed Laura's letter there was some little anxiety in regard to an attack on account of the stories

Page 2

told by the prisoners.

July 4th I must write what I have to say pretty quick this morning if I would have my letter go out this mail. Your letter written since Laura went to Boston was received last night. I am a little surprised that she should go away as she did without saying any more to you about it. She did not write to me a single word nor have I heard from her since she left. As soon as I know how to direct I shall write to her. My last letter to her I hope you will open and read. I am sorry now that I learn that you are alone that I did not write sooner. I will be very punctual hereafter.

I wish Dr. Poole had not shown my letter quite so much. If you can I wish you would get it and keep it. Tell him to be sure and not have it published, if he does I shall never forgive him. What I wrote is perfectly true but I dont want any trouble at present.

You want to know particularly how I am. I am very well indeed except that just at present I have the piles terribly. I hope to get better soon. If it was not for this last affliction I should be perfectly well. My cough is entirely gone and I have nothing like a summer complaint. In fact I am perfectly well, with one single exception.

Preston S. Chamberlin came up from the Forst last night, and he is very much better, other stories to the contrary notwithstanding. He will probably remain

Page 3

here till his time is out, as nobody is allowed to go home but those who are in a condition to do nothing.

Taylor is here now and will start for home soon probably. He is undoubtedly get his discharge today. Lougee who has been one of our sickest ones is now here and gaining quite fast. There are but two at the fort now. L. M. Fubbs of Topshaw who is gaining, and Ezra Clark of Newbury who is more homesick and nervous than anything else. We have none in the hospital here and but few sick in the tents - none seriously sick. Our company is now among the largest on the ground. It makes a fine appearance.

The rebels fired a salute this morning at their battery on Pigs Point nearly opposite here. They remember the fourth of July it seems. There is some talk of our celebrating by raising a flag &c. I shall have to keep pretty quiet and will try & find time to write you again today. We have just been to breakfast - beef steak - potatoes - fresh tomatoes - coffee - crackers - and butter. We live well enough. Maj. Worthen messes with us. We had flap-jacks and some of your maple sugar melted for supper last night.

Harry Worthen is perfectly well and enjoys himself first rate. If I was well I should like our life very well. There is so much excitement that time passes very rapidly. It will be nine weeks tomorrow since we left home. How many weeks before we start for home nobody knows and if any of the boys write any time you

Page 4

need not put much confidence in the statement. We should not leave here before the third or fourth of Aug. unless the third Regt. comes here before that time. We shall all be glad to get home you may be sure, but if my health were good & I had no one dependent upon me I should like the life.

I have no time to write you many facts. You will find the facts in my letter in the Aurora. I have no written a very interesting letter to the Aurora but I have got some of the facts in there. You say that I must not volunteer to go to any fights &c. I shall go wherever the company does if I can get leave.

I have a letter from Dr. Poole last night and have had one from Judge Underwood & Mr. Howard that I have not answered.

You must take as good care of yourself as you can. I am glad Mrs. Baldwin has got home. Give her my best regards & Mr. B. & Emma, Angie, Lucy & all.

I hope you will be able to be out when we get home, & if you think you will you can do what you think best in regard to the dress. We shall march round some & I wish you could be at the Trotter House if you cannot go to the Depot. Perhaps you better not try to go to the Depot even if you ride as there will be a great crowd. Still I would like to have you if you can. Write often. You write very good letters indeed I dont ask for better. You need not send any paper. Write soon.

Yours affectionatelyRoswell Farnham