Daniel S. White to Maria E. Howe

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Camp 2 Vt Vols May 11th 1863Friend Marie

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I recd your ever welcome letter day before yesterday and as Lt Howe & myself we engaged yesterday on the muster and payrolls I did [not] have time to answer your letter but will do so this morn It is a most beautiful morning a gentle breath just moving rich foliage of the trees – a dress which has just been put on. The many forest birds are warbling forth their morning song which fall in gentle cadences upon the ear making sweet melody in the heart of even the most casual observer. Who is there that cannot appreciate and admire the beauties of a scene like this. I cannot describe the beauty of the prospect nor the feelings which it inspires but I know you can appreciate and admire them and cannot doubt that you have experienced feelings the same and therefore a further discription is unneccessary. O! what a pity that a country which has so many beauties by way of climate and natural scenery should be blighted by the withering curse of slavery and civil war. That the coming zephyr gentle as

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as the breath of the fairest maiden should be loaded with the echo of booming cannon and exploding shells while the withering blighting curse of slavery that barrier to human improvements either moral, intellectual, or physical should contaminate the very air we breathe. When will this state of things cease? When will right take the scepter of justice and assume the sway? I hope speedily. I spoke of May being a pleasant month to ride You know the Army is under marching orders. Some ideas occured to me as I read your question “Is’nt is awful to die” and under other circumstances I would not speak of it. People fear a natural death at home where all the comforts of life are to be had and a large circle of friends to administer to your every want but is it with us here we may be hit and mortally wounded and lie flat on the cold ground with no pillow under the aching head and no one to administer one single act of kindness but all are pressing forward to drive the enemy. May 3d when we were

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wounded and cut up so I myself washed the boys wounds and gave them water and cut off their belts but despite all poor Crosby died all this without friends and a downy bed to rest on. I cant say that I fear being killed in battle still I may but it dont seem so but a dread of death naturally takes possession of one and it seems that a natural death would be only a plesure (i.e. compared to the horrid death on the field) but see one dying from wounds so common that most all turn instinct ively away without uttering a word. I do not think you so very wicked for we all have our faults and I have mine and no sooner do I act wrongly or do something “Comme il faut” than I am sorry for it and as you say make any amount of resolutions for the future. O! no Marie I should be one of the kindest of teachers with no word of reproof for you no matter what you did but the rest would have to “come to [time]” and that would keep my reputation as a Teacher

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good you see for government at least. Dont like the unmarried principal all because he wears his whisker “a la Burnside” Why that is the prettiest style out I think Do you think I ought to change to a la Hooker which is none at all or at least but very few? I am pleased with the high encomiums on my father in law – excuse me Marie I should say step father which you are pleased to favor him with Indeed I think he is a nice man what I have seen of him. Yes I will believe you if you tell me honestly (no joke) that you have never been in love, but it causes ideas to arise which I fain would suppress and the question “is her heart of adamant or are her tastes too complicated and diversified to be suited” In the first place I think on sober second thought your heart must be susciptible of “tender emotions” therefore I acquit you on that and taking Dr Bremen

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up and laugh. But I am not sure I am proof against falling in love and therefore I should hardly dare to come home till my year is out. So you have music schollars I had not heard of that success to you as a music teacher. You seem to think your letter very bad looking I never look at the writing in fact in reading your letters It always seems as though I were listening to to your conversation as spoken and not written I am most happy in the receipt of letters from you and never look to see whether it is beautifully written or not for that is of minor importance [first] it is to get one and I should be the last to wait five minutes to have it rewritten as I am always so ashamed of the looks of my letters and not unfrequently of the composition that I should be ungrateful indeed to ask you to rewrite them but write as often as you can – anything you choose and as plainly as you choose and I guarantee I shall be but too happy to receive it

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I do not know how soon we will march but think it may be before long but where I dont know You must be very careful and while you are hoarse I would not try to sing much as it is the worst thing that can be done for the voice so says eminent writers on”cultivation & care of the voice” Lt Howe is well Sergt Beckwith was bitten by a snake a few days since but he is alive and well now but we feared for his life the day he was bitten The Co are quite healthy now and the men are in good spirits. Our division only are here and the corps is farther toards Mannassas. Lt Spafford Janies brother staid with us all day a few days since also Azro White & Geo. Clark the concert singers with whom you you are doubtless acquanted Please give my regards to all and accept a quota for yourself Please write soon. I must make out a Descriptive list so good bye. The mail goes out in a few minutes.

I am Very Truly Your Friend Daniel S. White