Sunday, January 20, 2013

1863 January 6 Across the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg

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
in the business – would like very much to have one
of Charlie’s last also one of George’s     I am so glad
that I have one of each of you   I think every
thing of them – not that I should forget how
you all look without them but it is quite a
comfort to take a look at them once in a while.
          Am glad that you saw Col Wright and that
he is so well pleased with me   hope that he will
conclude to make me his clerk in place of Hotchkin
who is sick in New York   he was left at Fairfax –
Seminary and sent off with the rest to N. Y. and
will not be able to return in a good while if at
all.   Prehaps [sic] it would be well to hint the fact
to Col. or perhaps it would not be best as he has

promised to do something for me – he may
have thought of the thing himself..  I would like
the berth very much, although I don’t know
about the pay whether it is more or not – but
the “posish” is what I look at.   You wanted
to have me tell you how all the boys get along
well Eugene is very much better all right except
his feet are very sore and tender   the disease seems
to have settled in them but he will be out of
the hospital in a few days to his great satisfaction
of course as it is an awful thing to be under the care
of an army Surgeon   (I should have said under the neglect)
Aaron and Wm Catlin are both well except that they both
have got bad colds and in fact every one has got a cold
which can’t be helped as they lie right on the ground
It seems and sounds funny to go out in the evening
through the camp   it is cough – cough all around you
and every one seems to be barking –   Aaron had a
pair of boots sent by mail which he received yesterday
they are not as good as mine near..  I think I will sell
mine if I can get a chance and will write you about
the other if I do -      Have you made any disposition
of my black sack coat   if Geo is not going to use it
I don’t know but that it would be well to send it to me
as my dress coat is playing out and is getting dreadful dirty..
I could have military buttons put on to it and keep
it for a nice coat – as I am around with so many
slick officers   I have to fix up a good deal myself

     please write me what you think of it..  Tell Helen that
     my drawers are beginning to wear through some
     but don’t know but I shall have to have some more
     made before long   my shirts are in good condition
     yet and I have pleanty of stockings..
                             Tell Geo to get a Frank Leslie’s dated
Jan 3rd/63 and he will see a picture of the battle of
Fredericksburg and it is very correct as far as it goes
but it does not show one half of the battle ground and
the batteries seem to[o] near and are not consealed [sic] enough
the recrossing of the army is also very good..  right to
the left of the gorge on the other side is where we
lay all day Friday and where 3 of our men were wounded
and where the 1st Conn. Artillery were stationed..  the
picture of the baggage train is correct to life – I recollect the
very place that that represents – but it was all the way
about the same   If you see any other papers with
sketches of the battle will you please send me one..
         How many scholars have you got this term – any that
I used to know?   Do you make the fires at the school
house this winter or have you wisely given it up to some
one stronger?   You know that knife you gave me when
I came away – I was unfortunate enough to lose it when
we were at Fredericksburg – I am real sorry for I wanted
to carry that back home.   How is every thing at home
have you made any improvements lately?  Well I
must stop now  shall expect some letters soon..  Your obedt.
                                                                               Son   Jim    

James  Howard,  15th Connecticut

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12668

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