Roswell Farnham to Laura

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12th. Vt. Regt. Casey's DivisionCamp VermontNov. 7th. 1862Dear Laura:

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Your letter mailed Oct. 28th. was rec'd after going to one or two other regts. It was only by the good nature of the P. M. that I rec'd it at all. It was not directed right. That is you directed it to "Camp Casey Capitol Hill" without specifying the Regt. When the letterRegt reached Capitol Hill I was gone & it went into the New Jersey 25th. When I rec'd it here in camp it was endorsed in pencil as follows: "Not in 25 N. J. V. Was a Lt. Col. Farnham in 1st. Regt of Sickles Brigade. Also in 12th. Vermont - probably this is for the latter." And the P. M. had written, "Try 12 Vt." so I got it.

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We are now about two miles from the rebel city of Alexandria and 6 miles from Mt. Vernon. I have written Mary how we came here & I will tell you in a few words how we are situated In the first place it has snowed hard all day & blown a hurrican & the boys have had a hard time in their shelter tents.

We are encamped near an old Virginia mansion owned by G. Mason Esq. one of the regular F. F. V's. He is a secessionist at heart. His house is a two story one & things were once in good shape, but his slaves have all run away & the troops have ruined him. He has a wife & two children - one a daughter who he says is sick & a son or perhaps grandson twelve or fourteen years of age. He keeps his family very much secluded & has a notice put up that he does not wish to be troubled by applications from the

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troops for accommodations. We have occupied his barn with our horses and today Col. Blunt, who has command of the brigade moved his head quarters into the house - into two vacant rooms in one wing. The old gentleman thinks himself very much intruded upon but I dont see how he can help it. His misfortunes are but a sample of thousands who live in Virginia. I have seen none of his family except himself & boy.

His plantation is a desert, & the old mansion will soon be in the condition of hundreds in the vicinity. Out towards the line of pickets there is a splendid house once the property of a man now a Col. in the rebel service, in ruins. The windows and doors are gone & the marble pavement broken up.

I have just come from a visit to Col. Blunt at his new head quarters.

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He has two big fire places & looks as cheerful as possible. Rather different from our tents, tho' we are comfortable. Soon we shall have comfortable huts made & then we can bid defiance to the weather.

I am glad that you are doing so well. I hope you will continue to improve until you quite recover. Write me as often as you can & I will reply when I can. I am pretty busy now-a-days & cannot write much. Tomorrow I am going to move into Col. Blunt's old quarters as he has two tents & a california fireplace in one & a stove in the other, so that I can be more comfortable there & I shall have my hut built tomorrow if possible. By next week Saturday, the whole Regiment will be in huts if nothing happens. Write soon. Love to all

Your affectionate BrotherRoswell Farnham