Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1862 November 28 Camp Casey, Fairfax Seminary

                             Head Quarters, 1st Brigade, Nov 28 [1862]
                                                      Gel’s Office
Dear Sister Helen,
                             I have been waiting
for a letter, but as I am all alone
this afternoon, I have nothing else
to do but write.  Genl [Wright] has gone over
to Washington to attend the wedding
of Genl Casey’s daughter I don’t
know who she is to marry.  It will
no doubt be a large thing, and there
will be pleanty there to see it.
         I am improving very fast here
like the place first rate   I eat at
the Genl’s table although the 2nd
edition of it and I find its rather

better than stale meat and bread
and little of it at that..     Genl said
that It would do me good to eat
here for 2 or 3 weeks, so I think
he may make some other arrangements
at the end of that time.. but I
have a good bed and shan’t have
to lie out at night as I used to
     The Genl has got a very nice room
for his office and the whole house
is furnished nicely, there is a good
carpet on the floor – a sofa – piano
center table – 2 writing desks – large
easy chairs – pictures on the walls &
a large marble mantle piece with
a grate so that every is cosey down
here   In his bedroom there is a large
rose wood bedsted  2 large wardrobes
of the same material – a nice dressing
table – a marble top wash stand and
a grate here also so that we have
it warm all around..  It is a very
pretty house and nice grounds

around it..     About a week ago
I was thinking and made up
my mind that I should have
to go without my Thanksgiving
dinner this year certainly but
as luck or something as good
or better would have it I fared
about as well yesterday as I
generally do on that day but
I missed my friends I assure you
     This is the first Thanksgiving that
I ever spent away from home
but there has to be a commencement
to these things I suppose..  but I
might have fared worse to say
the least..   Genl had another
serenade last night did I tell
you about the other one.  Well
the band of the 13th N.H.V. came
over and struck up about 9 oclock
the Genl went out and invited them
in gave them crackers & cheese &
cider, then they gave him some –

more music and called on him
for a speech which he gave
them and he can make a speech
about any time off hand – he did
very well any way..  Then some of
the Ladies for we have ladies here
also came into the office and opened
the piano and we had some music
and singing but, oh, how I did
wish that you or Elbs were
here to just show them how to
play once..  I haden’t heard any
body except Elb play for so long
that I had got the impression
that every body could play as well
but I know better now,
          I got a letter from George
last night also a paper a day or
two ago the paper was rather
stale dated Nov 21/61 but he sent
it I conclude on account of
the pictures of Fort Runyan &
Albany well they looked quite natural.

[The following part of this letter is written in the top margin on page one.]
I see all the newspapers
here, but a magazine
or picture paper would
be acceptable any
time “tell your
          I haven’t seen
my box yet but I
shall before you
get this  I presume
The boys in our tent
had 5 boxes come
so that they had
quite dinner
     There is nothing very
strange going on here
or news at all
please write soon & send
stamps – most out – tell me
all about your

[This letter is continued in the top margin on page two.]
Thanksgiving and all the news generally
Good by   Yours   Jim.

James Howard,  Co. A., 15th Connecticut

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12668

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