Charles Dillingham to William Wirt Henry

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Dear William

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Yours is received - also one from Ed. I have just written to Ed that they may send us if they please provisions of any discription But it would suit us best to get Dried Beef Cheese, Pickles, Maple Sugar, Crackers or something of that kind. You both spoke as if the people wanted to do something of the kind for us and we shall be nothing loth to receive anything they may send. but my experience is that cooked provisions don’t keep – they get mouldy, and you know these sweetmeats are of no account, they only make the men dissatisfied with the rations. But the articles I mention relish well and do no harm.

We left Bush Hill Monday evening reached the long bridge about Eleven o’clock after more swearing than there was on the whole Bull Run trip. Our boys wished their knapsacks had been sent to Bull Run, they got very heavy.

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We laid down in our blankets on the Bridge and took a nap until four when we got under way again and mached here in a rain storm and put our tents up in the rain as usual. The 3rd took us in and gave us some Coffee which was very acceptable. that night was the hardest one we have ever had, wet ground, wet clothes, and wet blankets, brought us out with bad colds in the morning, and we have had hard cold wet weather ever since except yesterday when the sun came out warm, and the Bridgade was reviewed by Genl Smith. We can beat them all.

The Col has preferred charges agst the Major for writing a letter to the “Times”. You may have seen it. We are going to have a big row about it before we get through. the Col is trying to Break the Major, and the Captains & Lieuts make common cause with the Major and the prospect is there will be a very pretty fight which will end by getting rid of the Col or all the line officers. Which will come out

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ahead remains to be seen. One thing is certain they won’t make much against Major Joyce.

The boys ask every mail for news of Lieut Henry and are glad to hear that you are getting better. We all hope to see you here ready and able to take your post at the expiration of your leave.

I think I shall get you ordered to get a few recruits after awhile, when you get able.

We want a dozen or more good ones. Some of our men have got to be discharged sometime and I think the sooner the better, but Dr Ballou wont hear to it at present. I have tried to get furloughs for two or three, but that has played out. No discharges or furloughs for the present, so you can set the minds of those who call on you, at rest on that subject. You perhaps remember that Sergeant John Smith has proved a useless appendage. I have tried every kind of talk with him but with no good result. Now he is under arrest charged with disobedience of orders and neglect of duty What they will do I dont know, but we all know that he is a poor stick.

Frank Atkins is getting better slowly Write as you have time and feel like it.

Yours,C. Dillingham

Tell Katie I am much obliged for her best respects, and send my love in return. Also Respects to Mrs. Henry and all my many friends.

Camp Lyon, Chain Bridge August 16/ 1861