Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

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Camp Bush Hill VaAug 12th [1861]Friend Marie,

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I recd your ever welcome epistle day before yesterday and but owing to the fact that I had to go on Picket duty I did not have an opportunity of answering it until now. We returned about two hours ago bringing in 6 prisoners about Revellie a poor negro woman with one small child in her arms and a little boy by her side came to my sentry (my detail being the furthest out and consequently the most responsible post) and wanted to pass but she had no pass and on telling her that she must go back again she began to cry and tremble in every limb

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saying that her master would kill her as he had oft threatened to do if she attempted to leave “Please sir take me and kill me but do not let me go back into my masters hands.” I was touched to the quick by her supplications but the most mercy that I could show her was to make a prisoner of her and sending her to head Qrs which I did. about 10’oclock two ladies came along after the runaway but I foiled their first attempt but the second I could not foil and there fore I had 2 white ladys and a colored lady as prisoners on my post and on one other the rest of them were taken amounting to 6. I had to go without my breakfast this morning for

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I went after it I found that a large blood hound was “fastening his deadly fangs upon it.” There! There!! There!!! A signal cannon, an attack? How mournfully it sounds as it passes over our camp I must go more after “I attend the call” 1/2 past 5 no attack but all is still we are all ready to march belts on and blankets ready to put on teams harnessed. You may expect that we’ll have a battle in a few days as I understand that the rebels are constructing a battery not 2 miles from here. You will find the 2nd Vt at her post ready and willing to put down this unnatural rebellion You may expect a letter as soon as a battle

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takes place for I suppose that you have an anxious solicitude for the “dear One(s)” Gilson is well He was very weak about the time of our last engagement at Bulls Run and he generally is if there is anything to do danger or no danger I hear a story is in circulation in Ludlow that the provision sent in the box was all appropriated to the use of officers Now for the of those who contributed to fill the box I would say that such a story has no foundation either in truth or reason The contents were distributed as nearly alike as could be to every man in the company and all that was marked to some particular person was delivered over to him as I help open the box and am supposed to know as much of the matter as any one The Corpl. is well and in fine spirits he at present is discussing the merits of some very fine peaches a pleasant pastime surely. Give my warmest regards to your father and mother Ballou send his regards also my regards to all who enquire after me I should have labored a little in the composition of my letter had I known it would have been published but never the less it was not published in the N Y Herald you are at liberty at any time to select items if they of sufficient interest

In haste
Very Truly Your Obt Svt D.S. White

I gratefully acknowledge the receipt of the strawberries which you sent us and pronounce them very nice indeed Direct as heretofore play the harp piece for me if ill come over tonight if there’s no attack? Please sing Annie [Laurie] for me although absent I can appreciate the spirit and beauty of the piece.