Sunday, January 27, 2013

1863 January 18 across the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg

                                       Sunday Morning
                             Head Quarters 15th Regt. C. V.
                             Camp Opposite Fredericksburg
                                       (No 11)             Jany 18th 1863
Dear Sister Helen
                                       I received your very
long and interesting letter yesterday,
and enjoyed it very much.  It was
just the kind of a letter that I
like to get as I am anxious to
know all that is going on in old
Meriden – received a letter from
Chas.. and one from George the day
before   think Chas’s Photograph is
quite good but the vest and shirt
rather run together   when was he in
New York to have that taken.  I supposed
it was taken at Sloper’s.    I wrote Chas.
that we were going to march and
we are under marching orders yet
and expect to go every minute – there
has been a good deal going on around

us here getting ready- moving troops
etc last night I heard artillery
moving all night and there is going
to be a large fit [fight] here before long
     It was pretty cold here yesterday
and last night and it would be
rather tough to have to march and
sleep out such weather without
tents and fires..  I have no idea where
we will go or what is to be done
but it will very soon appear and
I suppose as soon as the battle
commences the mail will be stopped
so that you may not hear from
me for some time but I shall
write just as soon as we settle
any where or know what is to be
done --  I hear at this moment quite
heavy musketry and a few voices of
artillery off to the right but it
may not be any thing serious prehaps [sic]
only pickets or a battery practicing –

but I expect to hear it in earnest
before long.        I am glad that
Col. Wright is improving   he has
had his leave of absence extended
20 days longer and I hope he will
be able to return at the end of that
time. – a good many of the Regt.
have got their discharge papers
lately “50 [next appears a cent symbol] Bailey” with the rest.  Chas
knows him.        I hear from Elb quite
often   am very glad that he has
got a sort of home now and that
he has got a good Piano so that he
can keep in practice until I get
back for I long to hear some of
his music   do you practice at all
now?   You must not get all out of
tune   how does Chas get along with
his music?   “How are you “happy Farmer”
     I am glad that Father’s health
is so well this winter and that he
don’t undertake to make those school fires

that did not do him any good last
winter breathing that dust from the
ashes   how does Biddy prosper   she is
a tip top girl isen’t she?    Say I wish
you would get me one of Colts’ pictures
I would like to gaze on his gay old face,
once more (Moore).    I gess Chas.
will get his appointment as Pay master
as Rogers told me that he got the
promise of the next one he appointed
for him..  It will be a good berth    good
pay.. but I don’t like to have him
leave home as he would not probably
live at home again..  prehaps [sic] George
could get his place in the Bank if
he goes..  “Well there is nothing more
to write this time but there will be
enough next time I guess   hope I
shall come out as safely as I did
before..  give my love to all at home
and write soon  Good by all   Your brother

James Howard,  15th Connecticut 

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12668

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