Saturday, January 19, 2013

186 Jan 4 Camp across Rappahannock from Fredericksburg

                             Head Quarters 15th Regt. C. V.
                                 Camp opposite Fredericksburg
                                     No. 3.      Sunday Jany 4th 1863
My Dear Father,
                                                 I received the paper that
you sent me, this morning; also a letter from Geo
he is very good in writing me so often although
he doesn’t give quite as much news or ink as the
rest of you.  I suppose he commences with a good
resolution and then soon thinks of something
else that he had rather do, but I love very much
to get his letters.     Have you received a letter
from me with a 10 $ order in it.  I sent one in a
letter to George payable to your order and as he did
not say anything about it in his last I fear it
hasent reached you   there seems to be some
fault in the mail some where as a great many
of the boys complain that their letters do not
all come or go safely..  I shall number all of my
letters that I write home after this and want
to have you all do the same then we can tell

which of them are received and which are lost and        

[page two]
please state in each letter the No that you last
recieve.          We expect to be payed off very soon
as the papers all are made out and we have been
mustered in again and there is 4 months pay due
us which we ought to have.  I shall send home
most all of mine when I get it and then I can
send for it as I need it for there is no use
for any out here     there isent [sic] a store or sutler –
within 10 miles of us except one or two small stands
where they have a little tobacco to sell and the
boys got a pretty good supply of that when at the
city of Fredksburg.        Mr. Ives brought my boots
all safe and they are worth every thing down here
I have been offered 10$ for them 2 or 3 times but I don’t
want to let them go although they are somewhat
larger than they need to be – leather and shoemakers
are scarse [sic] as hen’s teeth down here and when a boot

or shoe gets worn through it has to be thrown
away as there is not such thing as mending them
                             I suppose you are having vacation now for
a short time   “Oh how I wish you could just come
down here on a small tour and give me a short
call    wouldent wan’t [sic] to have you stay long for
your sake in such a heathenish place   It would
do you good to take a look around among the
Camps here and see how we live   you would be
a little surprised I guess..     D. Henry Miller is
quite sick   has had a very bad diarrhea for some

[page 3]
time and is very much reduced – is waiting now           
the return of an application of leave of absence that
is going all the rounds of red tape so that he
can go to Washington for 20 days and recruit up
a little   there are quite a number of sick in our
Regiment     one or two cases of Typhus fever I hear
and we have no accommodation for the sick here
     Eugene who has been quite sick with lung fever
is much better   will get out a little in a week
or so.        Chas said that you had called
on Col Wright since his arrival – how does he
feel now?     I haven’t heard from him since he
went away   is he getting better so as to be able
to return on the 11th?   or will he have to stay
longer.     I am anxious to have him return as I
miss him very much.        We are having very
pleasant weather here   have had no snow or rain
yet except a short storm on the 1st   the days are
as warm as in June but it is quite cold and
frosty nights.     the boys have built mud chimneys
and fire places to their small tents and except for
the smoke would keep quite comfortable but they
have to bring their wood almost a mile as we have
cut all the timber all around as it is astonishing
how soon the troops cut down and burn up acres of
timber and how much it takes to supply the army
     We expect moving orders soon but can’t tell much
about it – hope they won’t make up winter here as it

[page 4]
is a miserable place – no water fit to drink any          
where around and no wood within a mile..
     I don’t think we shall have to do much
fighting this winter and hope we shan’t have
to do picket duty here..     I am getting along
nicely   have got good quarters and have pretty
good food   guess I am fatting up a little
will weigh myself the first chance I have..
                   How is your health this winter?   does
your throat trouble you as much as usual?
how do you like the new stoves?  I suppose every
thing is comfortable and cosy at home while
I am lying around out doors on the ground –
there is some differences I assure you..   Have you
had much snow yet or is it an open winter
                             There is nothing very strange or exciting
down here – revelle and tattoo come around just
about the same every time.     Tell George I will
write him soon but not to stop on my account
at all.          I will stop now please write me
                 Your obedient
                                     Son  J. H. Howard
I am out of stamps again.

                             Head Quarters 15th Regt. C. V.
                                Camp opposite Fredericksburg
                                                         (No 5.)  Jany 6th 1863
My Dear Father
                                       I received your good letter No 1
this morning with the photograph of Helen – think
it is a very good one -  Sloper seems to be improving

James H. Howard, 15th Connecticut Infantry

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]


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