William Wirt Henry to Mary Jane Henry

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Camp Grover Offutts X Roads Md. Tuesday eve Dec 16th 1862 My Darling Mary Jane

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Again, so soon I am seated at the pleasant duty of writing you a few “cheering words” to keep your spirits up, and assist you to bear all your many troubles. I thought all the time I had missed one of your letters, and sure enough when the mail came in this afternoon, I found your nice good letter of Dec 3rd (just before Thanksgiving) and another Dec l0th while I got one last Saturday of the 7th, so you see one of them got mislaid somewhere. I have told you before how much I wanted to be with you Thanksgiving day, and well I know how you grieved when you found I was not coming, but we must not look back, but forward to the bright future. There was some talk of our going with “Banks” Expedition, but it was only talk. However some wanted to go very much.

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I am so sorry to hear my little “Pets” have got the “whooping cough”. it will make you lots more trouble, and will keep me all the time thinking how bad they are, and besides I am so afraid of “fits”, especially in Mollie. If either of them should have a fit get Dr. Fales at once, and if sister Eliza or Martha cannot stay with you all the time get some good Yankee girl by the week, and take good care of your own health and keep calm. How much more trouble must my darling have to endure? I have been talking with our Surgeon about it and he says the best remedy he ever used was “Sulphuric ether” say from six to twelve drops in simple syrup or molasses. You could ask the Dr. what he thinks of it. I need not tell you to take good care of them, for well I know you will. I cannot begin to get my furlough until a very few days before Christmas and if things do not look just

I have made up with Katie Parker – what did she say about me when she was up home? does her Father know she has written me? I guess you was right about Sarah – she is jeleaous, that’s why she does not write

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right, I shall put it by then until New Years. I am waiting very anxiously for our Brigadier Genl. to be changed, for I think my chances better under a new one, but darling one do not get discouraged for I shall keep on trying until they will be glad by and by to get rid of me I guess, but as it is going to be such a good time on “your account” about “Christmas” why I shall try all the harder to go then. I will let you know when I am coming so you can be allready Tell Martha I am willing she should live with us most all the time I am home, if she is not making “Apple Sauce” now. I should think she and you would sleep together most all of these cold nights and keep each other warm, poor girl I am sorry for her and you too for I know you both “suffer”. She will be as glad as you when the war is over. You really make me proud praising me up so. There has been an awful battle, but the papers will tell you all about it.

Henry Marshall is still doing well, have not heard from Orderly Abbot to day, he is at Rockville. The Rebels came within a few miles night before last and took a lot of Prisoners – will send you the paper with an account of it.

Good Night my darling. “As Ever” William