Roswell Farnham to [Mary Farnham]

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Camp of 12th. Vt. Vol. M.Rappahannock R. R. Bridge, VaMay 10th. 1863.My Dear Wife:

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Your two letters from Quincy have come duly to hand. You need never make excuses about large sheets of paper. You cannot write on sheets too large for me. I tell you I am glad to hear from you out here.

We are more pleasantly situated here than we ever have been before. This is the most splendid country I ever saw. From the door of my tent I can see miles of beautiful rolling country in a high state of cultivation. The planters here dont look much like the inhabitants about Wolf Run Shoals. We are beginning to have delightful weather & our men are not as sick as they were. My health never was better. I told Sergt. Chamberlin that I was too well for my own comfort - too robust - too vigorous. I cant sit down to read or write with any patience. I want to be out riding or at work in some way.

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My appetite is good and I weigh 142-1/2 lbs. or did the other day & that you know is more than I have weighed since we were married.

I feel lonesome when I think of you & miss you very much indeed. I am getting very impatient for the time to come when we shall go home. I wish you could be out here to enjoy some of the splendid rides about here. "Burnie" has got along & is well & White Face is doing well. He is the best riding horse I have yet mounted. I hope you have got rid of your cold entirely before this time, if you have not you must take porter as I recommended in my last letter. Porter contains hops & molasses in a very agreeable form to take. We had no mail yesterday but shall probably get one today. I shall hope to hear from you again when the mail comes.

Day before yesterday Gen. Stoneman with five thousand cavalry crossed at Kelly's Ford four miles below here on his return from the most brilliant & successful cavalry expedition during the war. One division is camped near us. The other went up to Bealtown, where the 15th. is.

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You will see accounts of the raid in the papers. They cannot exaggerate its boldness & success.

You must be careful what you write about persons here for I may loose your letter. I am getting along very pleasantly now. When we have pleasant weather & enough to do I shall enjoy myself. Nelson has got well. I think he had a regular fever but he would keep about with us. He did not go to the hospital. Mrs. Wallace & Wm have gone to Hartford, Conn. Mrs. Peach has gone into Washington at last. She remained at Fairfax's or at the station for several days. Mrs. Stearns has gone home. Stearns came out here yesterday, & set up his sutler's shop. He has gone back himself.

Hooker is back this side of the river again & has not succeeded. I am sorry for I was in hopes he would not fail. How long we shall remain here I don't know. We may be moved back any day but I dont think we shall move forward at present. The bridge here cannot be crossed by anything but footmen, & ten men can control it.

I shall direct this letter home as I suppose

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you will be there by the time this reaches you. Laura does not know where you are, or at least she did not the last letter I rec'd, written last Sunday. You ought to have written her & not go home without her expecting it.

We are having contrabands come into camp every day. There is now one here who did belong to John Minor Botts. He is whiter than I am. Has blue eyees & brown hair, not wooly in the least - hardly curly - He does not look a mite like a negro.

It is going to be very hot today. The sun burns harder than it has before this year.

Write often & give me all the news. Give my love to all who enquire. Remember me particularly to Mr. Strickland's folks - Charlie H. Dea. P. & wife, Geo. P. &c. &c. Tell Laura that I have her letter written a week ago & will answer it soon. I can hear the whistle up the road & the train will soon be here.

Write me good long letters every other day. When you get home you can write as often as you please. If you are short of money call on Mr. Batchelder & he will let you have what you want. Nelson sends love.

Yours with much loveRos.