Monday, February 11, 2013

1863 February 10-11 Camp Knight

                            Camp Knight  Feb. 10th / 63
My dearest Birdie;
                                        Yesterday morning
Calvin & I went to see Cor. Clark McMahan
in the 132 Pa. regt.  He was very well, & fat as
a china pig.  To day he came here, & I went
with him to see [Lawrence] Clinton [his brother-in-law].  Clinton dont feel as well
quite as formerly, but is very far from being as unwell
as you imagine.  If you could see his broad shoulders
& fat cheeks, I think you would not be so much
alarmed as you seem to be in your last letter.
He has received a very kind letter from Mr
Warden, & has written him a reply & sent him very
flattering recommendations from is Coln & one of
the Lieuts of his Co. More flattering recommenda-
tions than he could have asked for.
   There is no vacancy at present in the 132d Pa.
Regt but may be soon, as some of the officers
have been badly wounded.  Clark is quite anxious

[page 2]
that Clinton should come into his Regt & will notify
me of the first vacancy.  I said there was no vacancy
Clarks Co. (D.) there was a vacancy, but the co.l elected
a Cor 2d Lieut & recommended him but their Orderly
is disposed to veto such an arrangement. & Clark
thinks he has gone home on a furlough for the
express purpose of urging his own claim. And it
strikes me while writing, that if Mr Worden knew
in time, that the dispute could be settled by just
slipping Clinton in. But I fear it is too late now.
There is no mistake but Clinton will get a com-
mission the first opportunity, & now Birdie, you
& your mother must cease your anxiety & worrying
about Clinton & Calvin.  When Clinton gets
the commission, as he certainly will, he will be
relieved from those duties & burdens that are
most wearing on a soldier, & most calculated
to break him down.  He would like to get a furlough
but dont expect to succeed.  
   Calvin is pretty well again, & on duty.  His
cheeks stick out with fatness.  This is so Birdie, &
not merely said to comfort you.  I think that
it will be best to get him detailed for something else
the first opportunity.  Am waiting your reply

[page 3]
to my former letter on that subject.
Took letters & Poetry to Clinton to read.
     You need not fear about Clinton & Callie doing
any thing dishonorable because they are not pleased
with the present prospects of nigger philantropy. Clinton
said to day, that whether he got a comm or not he would
do nothing dishonorable Neither will Callie, Neither
Gov. Andrews, when he refused to furnish more troops
unless Lincoln would adopt the emancipation policy.
& Greely, when he said, if we cannot crush the rebel
ion in three months more vigorous war we had  better
acknowledge ourselves whiped & "Make the best allow
able peace."  What though the party in power differs
widely from my views, & commits acts I think uncon-
stitutional, & are actuated by unpatriotic & selfish
& sectional & fanatical views & motives, can I love my
country less?  Can I, while there is the least shadow
of hope cease to do my might in uniting again my
distracted country?  Can I consent to let that "political
heresy,"  that country destroying principle, Secession
prevail?  My patriotic wife, my children, my
country, my God forbid it.
     Once crush the rebelion[sic], & return the soldier

[page 4]
home & they will attend faithfully to the abolitionists; you
may depend upon it.
Helen was quite generous.  It was quite a compliment too to sub-
scribe for the Mag.  How did she know you write for it?
How those we knew in the west are dropping off. It is very sad
to think of it &my college mates are going, going, - & soon will
be all but gone.  Why am I left?  God only knows!  May I be
truly thankful, & endeavor to be more & more faithful in
view of his wonderful goodness & mercy to me.
  Our poor Alllie I am very uneasy about her, Love
her and cherish her, take care of her, pray for her,
"Allie flourishes," does she? I have a perfect image of the whole
scene when she was relating the wonderful sights & travels
trab travels experienced in her early life. Kiss her & kiss her, & turn
                                                                              kiss her
her over & kiss her, kiss her, & shake her & kiss her  Kiss my Allie
& bye & bye if God permits I will come home & hold  her in my own
strong arms & kiss her myself.
I don't remember the piece "He's Coming."
Birdie don't use that head too much
The weather is stormy & ground very muddy. Cant be any advances
made by land. The whole of the 9th Corps has gone, I believe to
Fortress Monroe, & probably from there with Burnside to N. Carolina
Co. B. has ordered 400 copies of "The Flag of our Pride" to be
printed. They are very proud of their song A good many officers
have written coppies of it.  They got them from the Colon's
                                                        Feb. 11th
Nothing has transpired that gives us any idea when
we will go if we do move.
The sun is shining again this morning.
Our Regt are having a great deal of Picket duty to do
since the 9th Army Corps left. They picet along the river from
Falmouth on below Fredericksburg.  The pickets make sailes of
news papers, or pieces of boards, when the wind is fair, & send
them across the river, & thus exchange.  The privates talk across
a good deal. the Rebs. wont talk to Union officers at all.
Pickets talking is very strictly forbidden, but still it is done.
  My should[er] was dressed for the last time day before
yesterday.   Has been two months getting well. All this time
I might have been in Washington at a Genl. Hospital had I
wanted to do so.
  Am looking every day for a reply to one or two of my
letters you had not received when your last was written
                                          Good Bye,
Please send stamps

Captain Henry S. Spaulding, 38th New Jersey Volunteers

MSS 38-353


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