Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1862 December 25 Camp opposite Fredericksburg, Va.

                             Camp opposite Fredericksburg
                                       Christmas  Dec 25th [1862]
Dear Brother George
                                       A merry Christmas to
you all, and oh how I wish I were there
to day, to wish it verbally and to have a
good time with you to day skating and
sliding as we were a year ago, but I shall
have to postpone my usual sport until
next winter.  I suppose you have got
pleanty [sic] of snow and ice now and are
having some nice times.  Do you use
Dr. Catlins little white horse as much as
usual & how does the little colt get
along   I don’t mean Chas P. although
I should really like to know how he

prospers since the bust up   is the
elder widow still staying with him?
     George I want to have you write me
often and tell one all the news all
about what is going on in Meriden
you are the correspondent that I have
and I like to hear from you very much
are you still staying in the Bank?
       I am getting along nicely with
the Col.  don’t have hardly any thing
to do and have pleanty to eat now
for I board at the Staff Officer’s
Mess and we have things nice but
when we were on the march and
while fighting we had nothing to
eat except raw pork and hard tack
except what we foraged in the City
found a few hams and lots of flour
so the boys made ham cakes of it
but without any yeast or soda it
was rather tough food..  I wish
I had thought and got some little

thing there to have sent home to you
as a relic but we didn’t get into
the city until it was pretty well
cleaned of every thing by other
Regiments, they took every thing that
they could carry and things too that
would be of no use to them.  I saw
one soldier with one of those very
large parlor mirrors about 6 feet
high and one soldier that got
there first went into a jewelers
shop and got 5 or 6 good watches
I did not think to look around
much and only got a good
towel that I needed.  Oh we saw
some queer sights and some tight
places  I assure you but I can’t
begin to write them all down
hope I shall live to get home
again and then I will tell you
all about them..  We are having
very pleasant weather yet have

had no snow or rain but the
nights are quite cold but in
another month it will be awful
rainy and muddy but with my
enormous boot[s] I gess [sic] I shall be
able to keep above ground.  I
wish they were not so large
but they will answer  I have been
offered 10$ for them.  Please give
Father the enclosed 10$ bounty which
is the 2nd payment of the State 30$
I hope our Regiment will be payed
off soon as there is 4 months pay
due us..   Col Wright & Chaplain Miller
are both in Washington on leave
of absence for 20 days are both
sick and perhaps you will see
them in town before long.  I am
all alone now and have the tent
all to my self   wish you could
come in and stay with me but

[The rest of this letter is continued on page one in the top margin.]
board to home at the
same time for I don’t
wish you to have to stay
out here very long
     I shall know how
to prize home,
after this   It is
the best place no
matter how humble
     Give my love to all
and wish them a
happier and more
peaceful year next
than this has been for
our country..
     Write soon and
Often     Your brother

James H. Howard, 15th Connecticut

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12668

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